Why do PR client-agency relationships fail?

Wallop! OnDemand recently asked 150 PR professionals to answer the question “Why do client-agency relationships fail?” Just over half of the responses came from corporate PR professionals, while the rest were given by those working at PR agencies. Here’s what they said:

33% – PR agencies fail to research and understand clients and their business needs/objectives

21.5% – Clients don’t “see” results, even when they are there – agency/client teams aren’t packaging results appropriately

18.5% – Poor communication causes grievances to fester – problems/frustrations on the client side aren’t communicated with the agency until it is too late to make adjustments or corrections

18% – Lack of creativity and fresh thinking on the agency side

9% – Over-servicing by the agency leads to low profitability and an underappreciated agency team (not to mention a client with unrealistic expectations of deliverables)

One thing that I think is significant about these responses is that, according to these PR professionals, two of the top three reasons why client-agency relationships fail stem from poor communication. I’ve said before that transparency is needed in order to make client-agency relationships last. These responses confirm that. Without transparency surrounding PR results, clients won’t see the value of PR, and agencies won’t be able to respond to client concerns.

Here is how agency PR pros and clients can promote transparency and strengthen their relationships:

Agency pros – you can take the lead and promote transparency by putting measurement in place and using it to collect and share information. Use reports, charts and other data to routinely show clients evidence that PR is meeting goals and helping achieve business objectives. As you track PR’s progress, keep clients informed of significant accomplishments and achievements. Your clients will have more faith in PR if they have proof that things are moving in the right direction.

Clients – don’t hesitate to ask your agency to be more transparent. Let them know that you value information and would like to be able to access coverage data, analytics, and business intelligence to help you make informed decisions about your business strategy. Depending on how your agency monitors PR results, they may be able to offer you access to a portal where you can easily view details about PR activities, coverage results, etc. Work with your agency to create a level of transparency you are comfortable with.

To see more ways clients and agencies can strengthen their business partnerships, download the Wallop! OnDemand white paper: Secrets of Successful Client-Agency Relationships.

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One Response

  1. […] a follow-up to last week’s post, “Why do client-agency relationships fail?” here is a look at how – according to PR professionals – measurement can be used to […]

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