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How can PR agencies make their clients happier?

Amber Daines | 4 July, 2023


In the 15 years since I launched my first PR agency, I have seen many different client types come our way- not just varying wildly the size of companies, their budgets, or sectors they play in but actual personas. As a micro business, we offer high-end expertise across all communications. Still, we are positioned to curate our client base and turn away campaigns and organisations that don’t match our offering or conflict with our values.

The most challenging archetype of a client hard to make happy and create instant alignment with: please enter the world of the “jilted lover” client. This is the one who has had a disappointing or, even worse, disastrous engagement with another PR outfit and comes to us, Bespoke Co seeking redemption. Like any broken-hearted human, they are angry, feel cheated, and want to dump dirt on all PR agencies, seeing them as cowboys and not what they signed up for. It can be hard to keep good faith when you don’t get what was promised, and it costs money and wastes time and energy. I hear you jilted lovers – it sucks.

As you embark on your PR and communications path, I advise you to prove the PR agency’s value. How? In short, by demonstrating the impact and effectiveness of their efforts. Here are some ways they can do so:

  1. Set Clear Objectives: Work closely with clients to establish measurable objectives at the start of a PR campaign. These objectives should be specific, realistic, and aligned with the client’s business goals.
  2. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Identify and track relevant KPIs that align with the established objectives. This could include metrics such as media impressions, reach, website traffic, social media engagement, lead generation, or brand sentiment. A reputable agency will also be honest with clients – you want someone who can say honestly when your media goals are not likely to be achieved any time soon and why! It sometimes means you have to reframe the goals and smash them first.
  3. Measurement and Analytics: Utilize tools and methodologies to track and analyze data related to PR activities. This may involve media monitoring, web analytics, social media analytics, sentiment analysis, and surveys. PR agencies can provide evidence of their impact by collecting and interpreting data.
  4. Regular Reporting: Provide reports showcasing the progress, results, and insights gained from PR efforts. These reports should highlight how PR activities contributed to specific objectives, the metrics achieved, and any noteworthy media coverage or audience engagement.
  5. ROI Calculation: Whenever possible, PR agencies should aim to calculate their clients’ return on investment (ROI). By demonstrating the financial value generated from PR activities, agencies can prove their impact on the client’s bottom line.
  6. Case Studies and Success Stories: Develop case studies or success stories highlighting specific PR campaigns and their outcomes. These real-world examples prove the agency’s ability to achieve results and deliver client value.
  7. Client Testimonials: Request testimonials from satisfied clients who can speak to the agency’s value and the impact of their PR efforts. Positive feedback from clients can serve as solid proof of the agency’s effectiveness.
  8. Awards and Recognition: Participation in industry awards and recognition programs can showcase the agency’s expertise and success. Winning awards or being recognized by industry peers adds credibility and demonstrates the value of the agency’s work.
  9. Continuous Improvement and Innovation: Show a commitment to ongoing learning, innovation, and staying up-to-date with industry trends. Proactively bringing new ideas and strategies to clients demonstrates the agency’s value as a trusted partner.
  10. Long-Term Partnerships: Building long-term client relationships is a testament to the agency’s consistently delivering value. Repeat business and referrals from satisfied clients further validate the agency’s effectiveness.

By employing these tasks in your strategies from day one, hopefully, PR agencies can effectively demonstrate their value and the positive impact they bring to their client’s businesses. It’s our duty to. Remember that measuring PR is an ongoing process that requires consistent monitoring and evaluation. Setting clear objectives, establishing baseline metrics, and regularly assessing your progress toward achieving your PR goals are essential. Be willing to be open-minded; maybe as the wins come, you can become a tad more enamoured with the value of PR again.