Building strong client relationships is essential to having a well-performing and sustainable PR business. A good client relationship might not only pave the road for return business, but it will also result in new business through recommendations and referrals. If you’re looking to build lasting relationships with your client, follow these tips:

Cultivate rapport

This might seem obvious, but a lot of firms tend to get this one wrong. Clients don’t want to work with robots, so acting “too” professional can harm the longevity of your relationship. When it comes to things like being on time, getting the work done and providing professional advice, it’s important to have your professional hat firmly on. However, things like communicating too formally even after several interactions, being overly polite and agreeable and never asking questions can lead to un-authentic relationships that don’t last.

Being authentic, appropriate and respectful in all interactions is key to building rapport. An authentic firm won’t act as a yes-man, but will provide unbiased and well thought out advice that the client will appreciate.

Building rapport also means treating your client as an individual by building a personal connection. Depending on the industry, client and client’s personality, the appropriate level of personal connection will vary. Personal connection can easily be fostered by small talk about their day or what you did over the weekend to get to know each other better.

Share your knowledge

Getting your client involved in the process by just keeping them in the loop can make the client feel more connected to your work and company, especially if they don’t understand your area of expertise. Sharing information and knowledge can build trust and confidence in your firm and your work. This can be done by explaining to the client what specific actions you took, why you took those actions and how you came to your decisions.

Be Positive

Show enthusiasm for the work you do for your client. Even when work you are stressed, it is important that you exude positive energy and zeal. These are positive traits that people enjoy being around. Clients are more likely to want to work with you again and again if you show them a positive face.

Deliver more than expected

If you really want your client to consider you in all their future PR needs and refer you to their friends and colleagues, then exceed their expectations. This means not overselling yourself in the initial stages and setting reasonable and reachable expectations. By doing this, you have opportunity to impress your client by delivering results that exceed what was initially promised, positioning yourself as someone who can get the job done right.

Treat them well

In the process of getting to know your client’s well, find out what is valuable to them and what they appreciate. For instance, your client might really appreciate having a report delivered to them in an aesthetically pleasing format or they might like getting frequent updates. Know what makes them happy and deliver accordingly. Show appreciation for loyal clients by sending a token of appreciation on special occasions, like major milestones or around the holidays.


Ronn Torossian is the CEO and Founder of 5W Public Relations.

Ronn Torossian

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.