Whether dipping their pinky toe into the PR waters or having never worked with an agency, many organizations–including marketing and senior execs–don’t have a strong understanding of their involvement in or commitment to a strong public relations program. Some have been told by PR firms and consultants that they can “take it and run with it” following an initial kick-off meeting or download conversation. And, they are dead wrong.
While a PR firm can and should do the heavy lifting, involvement and support or lack thereof from both the marketing liaison and senior execs can make or break a PR program. Here’s why. While account teams should have a pulse on an organization’s industry, including news and driving trends, we aren’t on the front lines working alongside their clients who are sharing first-hand feedback on their real pain points and ultimate goals. Not to mention that these issues often change throughout the course of a company’s life.
Further, we can’t (and in some cases, shouldn’t) be at every internal meeting with sales and senior execs to glean the latest and greatest on internal and external initiatives. So establishing a firm understanding of a PR program and setting client involvement expectations at the onset is paramount. We need access, buy-in and time from a marketing liasion and senior execs to get into their minds and those of their clients to tell their story to media and ultimately make sound strategy recommendations.