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 and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.