We are partners, not vendors
Over the last few months we’ve been lucky enough to onboard a handful of new clients – some who are used to working with an external communications team and others who don’t have a clue about the power of our capabilities. Our helpfulness is quite simply explained as such: we are here to make your brand shine, make your life easier and make you look pretty darn good in front of your bosses. Simple, right?
But our relationship is not meant to be one-sided – it’s a partnership after all. The worst clients are the ones that hire us and then only check in during our weekly or monthly calls to track our progress as if we were a random vendor. There’s only so much we can do without our clients empowering us or sharing valuable local and global information. You see, for any communications campaign to be successful, we need both parties sitting and participating at the table. We need intel into your business, we need to be a part of internal meetings, we need access to the sales team and the spokespeople to understand what excites them and what they are passionate about.
Recently, a client of ours brought us to a major meeting with a new client where they were meant to finalize and sign the final contract agreement. Because there were seats at the table wearing the communications hat, we received precious new information about the product, the research and analytics that went into the product development, the exact details of the sales program, the plans for distribution, etc. Further, we were also able to think quick and do a mini photo opp for the contract signing (going behind the scenes to bring in flowers for the table, fancy matching pens for the signing and create an image-worthy background). We then issued a press release with a picture-perfect photo within a few days.
I can tell you that press release – and the feature stories that came out of it – would not have happened or had been nearly as strong without our presence at that meeting.
It’s these types of interactions and involvement that make our partnerships so much stronger – and lead to our shared success. Believe it or not, we really like our clients! We enjoy interacting with them and learning more about your products and services.
So, here are some ways can you enhance your agency partnership:
- Before any big meeting, ask “should I have someone from my communications team there”
- Host monthly sit downs between your agency and your spokespeople
- Introduce your agency partner to the different business units within your organization
- Share your KPIs with your partner so they can help you look good
- Hold in-person meetings as much as possible
Once you think of us as your partners – not vendors – you will see your communications campaigns flourish – trust me.