Secret #6 – Use measurement to make client-agency relationships work

Secret number six in our series is: Use measurement to make client agency relationships work. It’s no secret that there are many client-agency relationships that, for one reason or another, fail. In order for client-agency relationships to work, both sides need to give and receive trust, confidence, and respect. Let’s take a look at some numbers that explain the sensitive nature of this type of partner relationship: 

  • 20-25% of all client-agency relationships fail within two years and 50% fail within five years
  • 17% Eventually wind down as priorities and people change
  • 31% of alliances are seen as limping along in some suspended state of under-performance

One of the reasons many client-agency relationships become strained and eventually fail is that there isn’t a universal understanding of expectations. All too often, corporate PR managers and agency teams are misaligned about how success is defined. This leads to a number of problems. The disconnects in expectations can stress a relationship until it collapses. That is why it’s extremely important that a clear definition of success is agreed upon upfront. Furthermore, teams need to be in agreement about the specific ways the success of a PR program will be assessed.

Having a measurement program in place to evaluate PR results creates a level of transparency and helps build trust and confidence on both ends. Clients are more confident when they understand exactly what they’re getting for their PR investment. And, agencies can be more confident communicating PR results to clients when they have solid measurement data, reports, charts, etc. to demonstrate the business outcomes that were achieved.

Using a measurement solution to evaluate PR results can inspire teams to achieve more. This is because campaign measurement and analysis fosters ongoing dialogue about what each side (the client and the agency) can do better. Efficient, high-performing client-agency PR teams are increasingly relying upon the power of information to help make better decisions in order to improve their PR programs.

While there are a number of things that factor into the overall success or failure of a client-agency relationship, working together to realize clearly defined pre-determined objectives will help keep things running smoothly. If you’re able to evaluate your program and come together to continuously improve your strategy and achieve better results your relationship will flourish and both sides will see rewards.


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