As an account executive at a PR firm, I am constantly dealing with managing client expectations. For many clients, it is unclear just what a PR professional can do. Bulldog Reporter, an online source for PR news and resources, recently posted an article about what PR can and cannot guarantee. Here’s what they said:
- Guarantee: Contacting our media contacts.
- Guarantee: Telling these contacts about your brand and story.
- Guarantee: Sharing brand news, photos and videos.
- Guarantee: Researching the media contacts most relevant to you.
- Not a Guarantee: They will cover your story.
- Not a Guarantee: The media will have space for your story.
- Not a Guarantee: Media coverage will generate sales.
Bulldog ends the article with this guarantee, “we would not work with you if we did not believe in what you are selling, and we will represent you with as much passion as we would if we were selling our own story – and THAT we guarantee.”
When working with a client, make sure you are upfront about what they should expect. While you may want to entice them into working with you by making big promises, you have to be completely honest, or else you may run into trouble when you realize that you can’t provide what you promised.
Public relations is a misunderstood profession. We are misunderstood by clients, journalists and sometimes, one another. However, we are clear and confident communicators. These communication skills give us the tools to manage client expectations in a realistic way.
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