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.