For the past four years, we have learned about client relationships and stewardship, and why they are important for public relations professionals to apply. During these four years, we’ve sat in our desks and soaked in information from PowerPoints, textbooks, professors and guest speakers. Year after year, we’ve heard the same thing: PR is about keeping up relationships with your client. That is what sets us apart from marketing and advertising. It hasn’t been until this course, however, that we had the opportunity to take what we have learned in the classroom and apply it to working with a client. Our client, Youth Oasis, is Baton Rouge’s Children Shelter.
From the first time we met with our client’s executive director, Rafael de Castro, it was obvious he was a people person. From his friendly demeanor, to the way you could feel his passion as he spoke about his non-profit, it was apparent that keeping a relationship with the client was going to be a positive learning experience.
Learning to keep a strong client relationship is a professional value that every public relations professional needs to know. Prtini.com states that a client and agency relationship should be a partnership, explaining that “collaboration and teamwork are important.” It’s significant that the client and agency have good communication, and keep everything honest.
“We adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and truth in advancing the interests of those we represent and in communicating with the public.” The PRSA Member Statement of Professional Values about honesty explains in the best way that it is crucial to keep everything honest between the client and agency. If you have news that the client might not want to hear, but needs to hear, it’s something that needs to be told. Lying is never a good idea when it comes to your client and can absolutely break the relationship between a client and their agency. In fact, according to David McCulloch, Director of Corporate Communications at Cisco, “a breakdown of trust” is the top reason client and agency relationships fail.
Stewardship is a way to nurture your client relationship. Blog prbrandbuilder.com claims that reciprocity, responsibility, reporting and relationship nurturing are the four elements that will build a trustworthy business and create strong relationships between clients and the agency members.
When working with our client, Youth Oasis, Broad Magnolias has put these elements to use to keep a strong client relationship. At Broad Magnolias, we believe strongly that keeping an honest, friendly and professional relationship is the best way to create and continue a strong client relationship. To learn more about Youth Oasis, visit their Facebook page or Twitter.