Begin the relationship on solid foundations
To keep the honeymoon phase in full swing there’s two key things to iron out. The first is about offering-up all necessary information we need to make effective decisions, and the second helps to uncover any potential knowledge gaps in-house on Digital PR, link building and our processes.
A few things we’d ask of you to get there include:
- Ensure everyone internally who may have involvement, from a one-off ideation session to signing-off campaign ideas, is present at the initial kick-off meeting. Kick-off meetings are a great way to get everyone introduced to each other, for us to learn about how each team works and how we can best align.
- Gather all essential information early on to set us up for a strong base to build upon where everyone is clear on their roles and responsibilities, particularly between in-house PR teams, their agencies, and us as the Digital PR agency.
- Highlight any potential knowledge gaps in your team, so we can schedule a training session to address it and clear up any misunderstandings before they develop.
If you’ve been burnt before, the initial touch points with a new agency, from pitch to kick-off, are vital for building trust and washing away any negative preconceptions.
Getting the right people involved in ideation early on
Who doesn’t love an ideation session to get the creative juices going? It’s just as important to have client input in so here we’ll ask that you:
- Take advantage of our ‘open-door’ ideation policy. We actively encourage this to bring as much brand insight and expertise to the table as early as possible.
- Bring members from a variety of your teams to the sessions. Brand teams, internal PR teams, social teams and marketing teams – all contribute diferent perspectives.
- Be present in ideation sessions so that we can get a feel for what ideas get your team’s excited. Here we can also manage expectations on what ideas will be delivered.
By attending ideation sessions and bringing people involved in the sign-off process early on it helps people feel bought into campaign ideas and prevents future roadblocks. It also brings potential content collaborations across teams to the surface, such as social media promotion or available client data that can be used.
So, clients: bring yourselves, bring your ideas and rally the troops.
Ensuring a consistent and regular line of open communication
Whether it’s a large campaign or business as usual link building that your Digital PR team are working on, ensure you’re available to maintain regular communication.
We insist on regular catch-ups, such as weekly or bi-weekly quick catchups specifically to hear updates on progress, feedback and all other business to ensure the services you’re paying for are being leveraged in the most impactful way.
Here’s just a few other reasons keeping open lines is beneficial:
- If things aren’t quite working, it helps to have a client who will jump on a call ready for an open and honest conversation about how we think the team should pivot, rethink or adapt strategies.
- Some of our most successful link building has come from ad hoc requests from journalists that are turned around fast. It means we can leverage those reactive opportunities and push it further.
- If we know early on that quick turnaround on quotes or data isn’t possible we can create a workaround, such as a bank of quotes or a ghost-writing process. This means no opportunities are missed.
- We know who to contact in your absence when you’re out of office to keep things running.
Build a support system and be internal champions for the agency
Being the point of contact is so much more than providing Google Analytics access, settling invoices and checking calendars for meeting times that work. You’re the internal champion who has the ability to facilitate change and develop trust between the Digital PR team and your colleagues; if we’re able to get in front of the right people, with the right solutions and showcase our successes, it’s the remedy that leads to a successful partnership. And you’re integral to this happening.
In some cases, clients come to us that have been stung by previous agencies where caution is understandable. But once trust has been earned, it’s time to allow any barriers to gradually ease to strive towards that partnership mindset.
And having a supportive figure on the client side who can advocate for the work we’ve done together opens the door to even more link building possibilities and opportunities to amplify your brand.