Most brands understand they would benefit from a dedicated public relations team. Whether that might be an in-house team or a contracted team depends a lot on the brand’s goals, budget, administration and intentions. These factors also play a role in the type of client service offered by a PR team.

In public relations, client service is all about how the PR team identifies and meets the needs and challenges the company or brand is facing. Strategies to address those concerns and challenges will include a combination of controlled media exposure and targeted messaging tools that define the brand in the most effective manner for that market. This could mean a mass market PR campaign, a targeted niche PR campaign or a combination of both. 

One important facet of client service in 2020 is a focus on the long game. Clients need to understand PR is not about immediate sales. It’s about building a specific brand reputation and increasing brand awareness and consumer loyalty. In today’s marketplace, people are depending on what their friends, family, and even total strangers, think about a brand before they make a buying decision. 

When more and more people are buying online, without ever seeing the product in person, reputation matters more than it ever did. Reputations are built over time and must be protected at all times. 

In Person and Online

Passive PR strategies online or on social media are an important factor in 2020, but traditional approaches to targeting specific venues and connection points are still a very important part of any successful PR campaign.

Brands should have both general and specific strategies for taking advantage of brand-building opportunities such as business expos, networking opportunities and other events. Brand representatives have a chance to meet with prospects face-to-face and to nurture key business relationships. But what should they say, when, and to whom? A proactive PR team will prepare their client in advance, both with the right talking points and the tech to help the prospect make an immediate connection using digital tools.

This philosophy should extend to social media and other digital venues as well. PR pros need to help their clients stay on message and protected from the potential pitfalls created by social media.

PR Skills in 2020

While the methods have changed and the media opportunities have grown, the basic principles of effective client service remain the same. Impactful and persuasive communication, both spoken and written, are imperative. Creativity and flexibility are even more important as PR teams integrate new media channels and messaging opportunities offered by advances in digital media and influencer marketing.

In 2020, the tools in every PR team’s toolbox have grown, and the ways to measure results are better, more specific, and increasingly scalable. What matters most, though, is still understanding the message, getting it right, and communicating it effectively. That’s the foundation of effective PR client services.

 Ronn Torossian is the CEO and Founder of 5W Public Relations. 5W PR is a leading digital pr and influencer marketing agency.

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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.