Client-Agent relationships

As a PR pro, there will be times when your client won’t follow the advice you give. No matter how hard you try, it will be like talking to a brick wall. Sometimes you will never see eye-to-eye with a client. However, there are steps you can take to avoid these frustrations and to create a good client-agent relationship.

According to Andrew Worob’s blogpost on Spin Sucks Pro, there are four tips to create a better client-agent relationship.

1. Get the first date out of the way – this awkward, initial meeting is necessary to clarify all expectations from both parties and to ensure both the client, and agent, understand each other to avoid issues later on.

2. There’s no crying in PR and social media – on the first date you should establish that all views are welcome (no matter if they hurt) as long as they are respectful, professional and backed up.

3.Set up play dates – By meeting with the client more than twice a year, you will improve your relationship and gain deeper insight to the organization.

4. Practice Media 101 – Email isn’t the only method of communication. If you are subject to 10 million emails each day, pick up the phone! A client will appreciate the personal outreach and that you took the time to get a hold of them.

As a potential PR pro, I have learned that being personable is the best way to maintain relationships with other people. You must be upfront and open for others’ ideas. It is important to have a mutual understanding and an agreement before getting in too deep with a client.

A client-agent relationship is just like any other relationship in your personal life (minus the intimacy). It needs understanding, communication and loyalty to grow and strengthen. I love these tips from Andrew and am practicing them with my summer internship.

How will you apply these tips if you don’t already?

Photo from: Richard Iarossi

It’s good to give

In my public relations class we discussed effective ways to get fans involved with an organization. My professor showed us It’s Good to Give, which was made on Facebook Studio. Milk-Bone is a company that makes dog biscuits and started the “It’s Good to Give” Campaign 13 years ago. A portion of every Milk-Bone purchase has gone to the Canine Assistance Organization to help train service dogs.

After watching the video and discussing this campaign, I felt like this campaign was successful because Milk-Bone was able to create a loyal fan base who followed Noble’s story. Through the use of its Facebook page, Milk-Bone is able to update its 161,000 fans on the dog’s progress. The interaction on Facebook between fans and the company is conversational and welcoming. This is what allowed people to not just “like” Noble but to “completely fall in love with him.”

According to the tips on Marinel Mones’ blog post, A Facebook Basics Primer, Milk-Bone seems to have a handle on its Facebook fan page, and it knows its purpose on social networks. It has committed itself to being a part of the online community, and it knows where it stands as a member of a social network. Milk-Bone has also kept an ongoing dialogue with its fans. The posts on the fan page receive multiple comments, and fans post their own stories on the page. Another reason, according to Mones, that Milk-Bone is successful is because of the campaign it introduced.

The “Its Good to Give” campaign produced 6.3 million touches on its Facebook page and more than a billion media impressions through PR. Not only does the Facebook page follow each dog’s story, it also provides “notes” which are used to engage in conversation with fans over things like dog naming and trainer responses. Since the campaign, Canine Assistants has added 300 more donors to its database. Milk-Bone’s PR has developed an online community of dog-lovers and people-persons.

The campaign is compelling to dog lovers and to humanitarians. It targets and delivers the same story to these two audiences by presenting Noble’s (and now three more dogs’) story as a developing dog, and as helping Chris, a man in need of a service dog.

Milk-Bone is an example other companies should follow when trying to create a successful Facebook fan page. It is dynamic and consistent. It is a socially responsible company and follows the advice of public relations professionals about social networking. By engaging in conversations and keeping the audience updated with the dogs’ progress, the company is reliable.

Even though I’m not a dog person, I would follow Milk-Bone’s “It’s Good to Give” campaign because I believe in what they do for the people. If I was a dog person, I would be more inclined to engage with Milk-Bone and other fans on the fan page. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll warm up to man’s best friend. For now, I think I’ll just stick to PR.

**New content:

As an audience member of multiple companies, I find the most successful to be those who interact, update and maintain relationships.

1. A company’s online appearance should be interactive with its audience. For example, Nordstrom’s Facebook fan page offers surveys, store locations, fan feedback and recent Twitter posts.

2. A company should update its Facebook often enough (at least twice a week) to keep the audience interested. If a company waits too long to update its audience, the audience will forget about it. Milk-Bone does a good job keeping its fans interested.

3. I like when companies, like Nordstrom, maintain relationships with third parties by linking to other companies. Often if an audience is interested in one company, it will be interested in similar companies or products.

To create a successful fan page, follow these tips. Remember that your audience is interested in what you have to offer, or else they wouldn’t have “liked” your page in the first place. Meet their interests, and keep them updated for the most traffic to your site. Stay committed to your fan page, and engage in conversation with your audience and third parties.

Good luck!

10 fundraising myths

As a potential public relations professional, I feel that it’s important to know what people are saying about all fields of the profession. PR comes in all shapes and sizes and can be applied in different areas. One very important responsibility PR professionals have is fundraising and bringing awareness to their organization. According to Matthew Ennis, there are 10 myths about fundraising.

1. Fundraising is begging and makes the organization sound needy.

Fundraising isn’t begging. If the organization has a solid business plan, donors will want to invest.

2. Donors respond to the needs of the organization.

Donors are less likely to respond unless they are aware that the organization understands why it needs the donor. You can’t just ask for support without showing why you need it.

3. Fundraising is about money.

Matthew says that fundraising is about building relationships.

4. We have to know the top donors of this area to raise big money.

Many donors don’t care for publicity. Large donations often come from those who have a strong relationship with the organization but may not be known in the community.

5. If the program is successful, the money will just appear.

Successful fundraising demands strong donor response. The organization should have excellent programs to attract donations.

6. Major gifts can be obtained only by writing letters.

Matthew states that letters are easily discarded. It is more difficult for a donor to turn down a personal solicitation.

7. A goal can be reached by dividing it into equal parts and seeking equal gifts.

Donors are all different and have different degrees of involvement with an organization. These differences allow them to respond to different size requests.

8. Some people can’t afford to give, so they should not be asked.

Donors are able to make their own decisions; every organization has surprising stories about donors who gave more than anyone knew they could.

9. Special events are an effective, efficient way to raise money.

Events should raise awareness and involvement within the organization. Special events can raise risks for the large demands for running an event.

10. Asking once a year is enough.

Unless a donor said “no” strongly, ask again. Offer donors multiple chances to invest in your organization.

I found that Matthew’s 10 myths were helpful in remembering what’s most important about fundraising. The goal isn’t always about how much money you can bring in — your main goal should be to build relationships with potential donors and raise awareness of your organization. Fundraising should be personal and positive for an organization.

This summer I will be involved in an internship, and fundraising will be an important aspect of it. I will definitely keep these 10 tips in mind!
What do you think about these myths? Do you have more to add or a different view on any of these 10?

Photo from King Robbins’ blog post.

Building your business

I am lucky to be taking a PR course this spring, and it’s helping me find out who I want to become. My project for this class is focused on becoming a successful event planner. While looking through some PR pros’ blogs, I stumbled across Kelli Matthews’ blog post, “Oops… I started a Business.” In her blog she shares the five hardest and the five best things about starting her own business. She also shares five lessons she learned doing so.

According to Kelli, these are the five hardest things about starting your own business:

1. Not having a set schedule.

2. Being responsible for decisions you don’t make.

3. The financial “ebbs and flows.”

4. Working in a vacuum.

5. Working with a vacuum.

Many people try to sugarcoat what it’s like to start a business. However, there will be times when we will all find ourselves working around the clock, being responsible for other people’s decisions, balancing finances and being distracted by our personal lives. This is what makes PR pros so good at what they do. Even when life throws curve-balls, they still find the positives:

1. Not having a set schedule —  working when you want and taking breaks when you want.

2. Creative freedom —  your business gives you the opportunity to be yourself.

3. PR professionals work with a lot of people and are able to build relationships with clients who trust them.

4. PR pros get to learn new things when working with different people.

5. Being able to help others succeed.

**Disclaimer: It was suggested that I add more to this blog post. My original post was published on May 5. None of my original content has been changed – I am only adding on. Thanks!**

I have been researching how to become a successful event planner and have interviewed an event planner from Portland, Ore. I am finding most business owners say relatively close things. What I have gathered is that you should keep an open mind, have high hopes but realistic expectations. As long as you keep a positive outlook you can make something good out of any situation.

I have a few family members who have started their own businesses. After observing and reflecting on the things they’ve done well and those that haven’t gone accordingly, the best novice advice I can offer is to stay organized. On last week’s episode of ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” Dr. Kepner stresses the importance of following protocol so she creates a checklist for the other surgeons to abide by in hopes that this will help her become Chief Resident. Dr. Owen hasn’t picked Chief Resident yet, but the moral of this story is that by following protocol or a checklist, you won’t miss any important steps. You don’t have to limit yourself to a set of rules, but you should at least follow the basics to stay safe.

There is no doubt that Kelli’s story is personal to herself. We will all have our own experiences; we’ll have lessons to learn and stories to tell. At least now we know we’re not the only entrepreneurs to go through similar situations!

Kelli says on her post, “Starting a business was never my plan and happened very much on accident. It’s taken more than seven years for me to find any degree of ‘success.’ Most entrepreneurs struggle. It’s hard work.”

Whether on purpose or on accident, there will be bumps in the road when starting your own business. With a positive outlook and maybe a few years, you will start to see success!

Always,
Dalal

photo found at: esoteric thoughts

Allow me to introduce myself

Hey!

My name is Dalal and I am young woman with old school mentality. I still think men should open doors and take off their hats at the table. I’m a public relations major and I finally set up my Twitter account this year. I am not quite technology-savvy, but I’m trying to keep up! It’s a joke amongst my loved ones that I’m like a grandma — the worst part about it is that even my grandma is online!

I’m a student at the University of Oregon and I absolutely hate the rain! Who would have thought I’d choose Eugene of all cities? Here at the U of O I have become a part of the UO Jam Squad. The Jam Squad is a hip-hop dance team that I have been a member of my three years at Oregon. I have a passion for dance and express that passion through this team.

I’ve created this blog for a class assignment, and I hope to keep it going even after this term ends. PRime Coordination is all about tips that will help coordinate public relations. I chose the word “coordination” because I also have a passion for event planning, or coordination. My plan for this blog is to post advice and tactics from PR practitioners that will help other students grasp a better understanding of the industry.
Although I enjoy event planning, I want to learn all there is to know about public relations before I settle down with one focus.

I truly appreciate you stopping by my blog, and I hope you find it useful and entertaining!

Always,
Dalal

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