Thursday, June 24, 2004

How To Be A Good Client

I hear this a lot from prospective clients. "We want to be a good client." I like hearing that. But this phrase can mean different things depending on which side of the table you're on. For example I've learned that to some clients, being "good" simply means that they'll have a lot of news to promote. Or maybe it means they'll actually be able to provide some reference customers (hark! angels sing!)

But when someone tells us that they want to be a "good client" what we want is "Access" & "Action." What we want is a true partner.

Access: don't be a bottleneck; trust us with access to anyone and everyone in your company. The CEO. The CTO. The founders. The sales team. Yes, even the customers. We won't make you look bad. We do this for a living. And of course, make sure we have access to you, the CMO. More than anything we need YOUR time. Don't blow off your weekly update calls. We need a coupla hours per week. We'll do the rest.

Action: pick a message, a direction, a timetable, a pitch - and then let us run with it. Don't succumb to Analysis Paralysis. PR by its nature must be FAST. If we hem-n-haw we lose. We need fast edit cycles. Most of all we need your willingness to trust your gut. And for you to trust our gut.

Don't be a good client. Be a good partner.

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