How to Pick the Perfect Partner

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  • May 15, 2013
  • Starr Million Baker

There are lots of articles written about how to find your perfect PR firm – interesting stuff, with really good commentary. On the other hand, I don’t see a lot written about a PR firm’s ideal client so thought I would define INK’s here (and yes, I am proud to say all of our current clients do fit this description):

  • A story with which we can be successful. This one is first and foremost. Whether our client hires us for media relations or branding work or social media programs, if we can’t be successful for them – don’t believe in their story – then we’re wasting their money and raising our stress levels. We are not fans of either of those two things.
  • Clients who understand they hire us for our expertise and let us put it to use. Most of us studied communications in school. All of us have done this for awhile. We focus on PR, brand and social so that our clients can focus on marketing, sales, and running their companies.
  • Clients who consider us part of the team. This is huge. We don’t want to be the internal team’s competition; we don’t want to be the internal team’s scapegoat. We want to be the extension of the internal team that is so close no one even thinks of us as anything but the internal team. We love making our clients look good and we thrive on the good work that comes from teamwork.
  • Clients who talk business. This one is two-fold: 1) You’re running a business. Tell us about it. We need to know what challenges you’re facing, how things have changed, what your latest biz strategy really is. 2) We’re running a business. You need to know if we’re running hot against budget or need more budget to get that level of activity done or will use less budget than anticipated (yep, that happens too). We’re not afraid to talk about the nitty-gritty and we want clients that feel the same.
  • Clients who are flexible. This is broad, I know. But we’re in communications, and that is nothing if not flexible. We need to be able to adjust strategy on a moment’s notice, react to the current day’s events, use real language, come up with new ways of doing things, and all of that while knowing that at the end of the day, this isn’t brain surgery. A win feels good – REALLY GOOD – but let’s be clear: our worst day is way different than the worst day of an ER doctor. Or a President. Or a…you get the idea. Speaking of reality…
  • Clients who are real. We love real people. We like to shoot the shit and have a beer and commiserate about never-ending copy edits or why the Cowboys will never win a Super Bowl with Tony Romo or how in the world the people on the Bachelor get to be the people on the Bachelor. We like clients who can do the same.

I can honestly say that all of our current clients fit this bill – and for that, we are forever grateful (and lucky). So do you fit the bill? If you’re considering INK, and see yourself in the above, give us a shout.