As a top PR agency we’re lucky to work with many organizations that prioritize the relationship we share. We pride ourselves on working independently and staying ahead of our clients, many of whom are high-growth tech businesses. Yet our success depends on collaboration. The same is true of almost any PR agency or team.
With that in mind, here are some of the key building blocks of a successful collaborative relationship between a company and their PR agency or internal team.
Share as many assets as possible
More information is almost always better when it comes to a successful collaboration. All kinds of assets – from marketing archives to verbal briefings – are helpful for shaping a story, especially for a B2B company. It’s surprising how often we stumble on a nugget that the client didn’t think to share with us because no one thought it pertinent to the PR program. When in doubt, share. Let the PR team make the final judgment about newsworthiness or relevance.
Be clear about expectations
Although agencies will be able to better anticipate expectations on the client side as your relationship progresses, a lack of alignment here can have a dangerous ripple effect for the relationship and its productivity. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should be established at the start of the program – in fact, they’re typically included at the proposal stage. Yet day-to-day expectations about level of contact, communications, cadence, and service levels are also important. Daily feedback on performance, ideas, and account management is invaluable for any communications team, and it can serve to nip problems at an early stage.
Get organizational buy-in
A successful PR relationship doesn’t only require buy-in from a company’s marketing and communications team. It works best if it can involve the whole organization from the C-Suite to the HR team. Steps such as periodic PR update emails for internal stakeholders and regular executive briefings can open the door to potential story ideas. And there’s nothing wrong with a little “professional jealousy” when it comes to highlighting executives from different divisions. A little exposure can go a long way to help the organization prioritize and value the PR program.
Coordinate with other partners
Most organizations have multiple PR and marketing partners, particularly when a business is global. Being aligned on goals and messaging will avoid overlap, and it can save time and foster productivity among agency or internal teams. Inevitably there are ideas or content that can be repurposed or that may inspire creative thinking by multiple parties, and when that happens, everyone wins.
Don’t be shy
PR is all about telling your company’s story and offering a unique point of view. Whether it’s about products, people, values or some combination of the three, each organization has its own characteristics that make it stand apart, so don’t be afraid to put yours out there.