One of the driving factors behind success in the PR industry is the ability to establish and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with both members of the media and your clients.
Getting to know your clients from the get-go opens the door for candid dialogues about their needs and wants, what works well and what doesn’t and how both sides can best support one another to tackle the job at hand.
And the best way to get to know clients is to ask the right questions — and listen carefully to their responses!
Not only does this provide a clearer picture of how you can maximize your PR programs to provide value, it can also help you to determine if the client is even a good fit for your business.
The next time you’re preparing to onboard a new client, ask them these seven questions to get to know them a little better.
Questions about the team
Every client you work with is going to be a little bit different, so focusing on the people you’ll be working with is a great way to get to know them and how they operate.
Spend some time getting to know who the key players are at their organization and if they have any past experience working with PR professionals and members of the media.
- Can you provide a list of your company’s primary stakeholders and note if they are media trained?
- Who are the primary contacts for document approvals?
Questions about strategy
Now that you’ve gotten to know the people, spend some time getting to know the business so you can effectively tailor your strategy.
Find out what some of their existing challenges are and how they hope PR can help them. Don’t shy away from asking about their past PR and marketing efforts — for better or worse. Knowing what’s worked well (and more importantly, what hasn’t!) will help to ensure you start off on the right track.
- What are your primary objectives for this program/project?
- What has been the single most successful action in your communications strategy? The least successful?
- What milestones or other timeline-related activities should we know about?
Questions about measurement and success
Before you can truly dive into the nitty gritty of brainstorming campaigns and coming up with story ideas, it’s important to understand where the client is coming from and gauge their expectations for your time together.
Discussing up front what KPIs and metrics the client will be using to evaluate success will help you to build a highly effective PR plan and know that you’re progressing towards the end goal.
- What is your internal project reporting process?
- How will success be measured for this program/project?
Have any questions you’d add to your onboarding checklist? Leave your response in the comments section below or tag us on social media using #solopr.
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