Are Your Clients Your Advocates?

Posted on: August 20th, 2013 by Wendy Alpine

Are Your Clients Your Advocates? by Wendy AlpineRecently I had a meeting with a consultant for our local Small Business Development Center. He asked if my clients were my advocates, which is a question I hadn’t really thought about.

Often in PR we are so used to promoting our clients and building brand awareness for them that we rarely stop and think whether our clients would promote us.

I recently posed the question to one of my LinkedIn Groups, Network of PR Professionals, and received some very helpful suggestions from moderator and PR pro Steven Spenser. Steven agreed to let me include them in this blog post. Here are his tips:

  • Review your account reporting procedures to identify whether you’re highlighting successes sufficiently.

– Are you doing this every time you have news of a fresh PR result, or in a monthly e-mailed report?

– Do you send hard-copies of account reports?

– What about print-outs of publicity clips?

  • Make sure that your PR plan for the client has a measurement section that contains mutually agreed on definitions of what constitutes success.

– Do you celebrate achieving plan milestones with the client?
– At the end of a successful campaign, do you send congratulatory messages, bottles of champagne, etc.?

  • Make sure your account executives speak with enthusiasm, excitement and passion in telephone conversations, or face-to-face meetings with the client.

  • Request a letter of recommendation immediately after the successful conclusion of a contract. Also, request a LinkedIn recommendation. If the client is dragging his/her feet, draft one that is accurate but sufficiently modest and provide it as “an example of what is most helpful” when you ask the client face-to-face for a reference letter.

  • Include a clause in every contract that permits you to use samples of the work products as portfolio pieces for securing new clients or employment. Save every “attaboy” from a client – whether written or printed-out email.

  • Mail copies of your account reports with a client comments form and a stamped, pre-addressed envelope enclosed.

– Give clients a quarterly “How are we doing?” survey with space for writing complaints or praise.

  • If it’s important that the CEO understands your value, find out whether your direct contact shares PR updates at corporate meetings. Ask whether the format of the PR updates you deliver is adequate to present at these meetings.

So while you are promoting and building brand awareness for your clients, take a moment and invite them to promote you.

Do you have some tips for making your clients “Like” you? If so, please share them and I will report on them in a future blog post.

 

Wendy Alpine of www.alpinepr.com
Wendy Alpine
wendy@alpinepr.com
www.alpinepr.com
Phone: 404-641-6170
Fax: 404-806-5316

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