For those just starting out in the PR industry, you might feel that after a few weeks or months you finally got a grasp of how the industry works but that is just the first step to being a consultant.
You might think that you are a good consultant, and this may be true but here at C8 we look for more than ‘good’ – we want brilliant consultants. But what makes a brilliant consultant? Well in this multi-part series of blog posts we are going to outline what we believe the difference is between an average consultant and a brilliant one. To start this off let’s look at one of the most important aspects: Client Expectation.
What do they Expect?
To understand how a consultant can fulfil client expectations it is vital to understand what the clients actually want from a PR agency. Depending on how much the client is spending this could be one thing, like being a strong producer of content, or it could be multiple things like:
- good communication skills;
- a curious mind;
- an understanding of the media;
- strong influence;
- a broad knowledge of the tools of the trade;
Regardless of what their specific expectations are it is always good to go above and beyond because ultimately the main task a client wants from their PR agency is to bring value to their business and heighten their brand awareness amongst their target audience.
Those points above are just the specific skills that clients seek after however, as along with these are three broader topics that all interconnect with client expectations and we call this the client wheel of expectation. It’s called this because each point directly impacts the other and all are key PR abilities that clients look out for. The first of these is ‘Professional Capability’ which is the ability to be professional at all times with your clients, their partners and members of the press and public. Giving off an air of professionalism shows that you have a good ‘Business Understanding’ which is the next point on the wheel.
Being able to understand your client’s business is key as they will only trust you to support if you can them that you understand what it is they do. This doesn’t have to be just limited to the client’s product but also the client as a whole. How big is their business? How successful is it? Is it public or private? When was it founded? These are all questions you should ask yourself about your client and showing you understand them can help you better with their ‘Program Support’ the third cog in the wheel.
Program support is the key expectation from clients as that is why they have hired you, and all the smaller specific points mentioned earlier fall into this category. Giving ideas to the client and getting them coverage are all part of this support and in doing so you can make the client look better and give off an air of ‘Professional Capability’ which brings us full circle.
The points mentioned in this article are really important for any PR agency looking to improve as the most important element of PR is your client’s happiness. However, this is just step 1 of how to be a brilliant consultant so keep an eye out for step 2 in the coming weeks.