Top 5 Ways to Stop Clients from Using AVEs

Okay.  So the PR pros at your agency know how wrong AVEs are.  That they DO NOT measure the value of PR and our No AVEs imageindustry as a whole has abolished them.  So what do you do about the client that insists that AVEs be used for their campaign?  Do you provide a totally inaccurate, non industry supported value that you don’t even believe in yourself?  I don’t think so.  I know it is hard, when clients are firm in their requests (stubborn), but we do have to gently stand up for what we believe as the best way to measure the value of PR.  So let’s take a look at 5 ways you can take a stand against AVEs while educating your clients on the best measurement practices.

1.  Explain that the industry AND your agency do not use AVEs anymore.  It turns out that they do not measure the value of PR accurately at all.

2.  Provide them with the best articles you can find that explain the reasoning behind this decision.

  • Do it as a short , visually appealing slide show presentation during one of your meetings
  • E-mail them short articles over a period of time
  • Take your client to lunch and discuss the issue with a handout to highlight the main points

3.  Explain how successful it has been to approach PR measurement in a new way.  Using other clients as an example.

4.  Ask if they would be willing to try something new.  Then work with them on how to come up with clear company objectives that can be connected with clear measurement outcomes.

5.  Show them the benefits of measuring continuously during a campaign so adjustments can be made as you go.

6.  Introduce the “funnel approach” to them.  Explaining that they want to ideally walk their customers through a funnel that leads from:  Awareness — >  Knowledge –>  Interest –>  Support  –> Action

7.  Come up with ways to link PR activities to PR results that have a dollar value.  For example:  total sales/sales leads/savings from reduced complaints.

I believe if you can get them to try this approach with their next PR campaign, that they will be sold on how it makes more sense.  Not only that, it will help them to make adjustment along the way and to understand what works and what doesn’t work for their particular goal.  Then… you can officially kiss those nasty AVEs goodbye!

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Find Your Perfect PR Match – Making Client-Agency Relationships Last

In the business world it can be difficult to maintain a healthy client-agency relationship.  It is fairly common for people to have had some experience with a partnership that has gone sour.  That is why it is so important to learn what can cause these issues and to take every measure to prevent them in the future.

Many factors can contribute to a strained client-PR agency relationship.  To name a few of the most common:  unmet expectations, miscommunication of goals and lack of measurement of progress.  In order to avoid these common pitfalls it is best to find the perfect match for your business or agency.  Here is the secret: from the very beginning, clients and agencies need to be more selective.  Taking the time upfront to do your research and ask important questions can save both clients and agencies the headache of a mismatched relationship.

Clients are encouraged to check out more than one agency and find out what they offer for services and data measurement.  Communicating their expectations to the agency and asking specific questions is key.

Agencies, however, sometimes think that they can’t afford to be picky.  But not every client is a good match.  Clients that expect over-servicing and are unprofitable can take up a big chunk of the agencies time that can result in over-worked, disgruntled employees.  Clear communication to clients about what they can expect from your agency will also help in establishing boundaries.  Be sure not to over promise what you can’t deliver just to get a new client.

Don’t be afraid to go your separate ways if your PR match is not working for you.  This type of situation can easily happen especially since both parties are trying to appear more attractive during the courtship phase. Being selective and transparent, as well as communicating clear expectations will get you on track to find your perfect PR match.

PR pros say data-driven strategy is essential to building lasting client-agency partnerships

As 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 improve client-agency partnerships…

Wallop! OnDemand asked 150 PR pros (a mix of corporate and agency practitioners) to answer the question, “How can agencies use measurement to help make agency-client relationships more successful?” Responses showed:

  • 40% suggested agencies provide strategy recommendations based on measurement and analysis
  • 21.5% said agencies should use measurement charts, data and results to make PR achievements clear
  • 17% said agencies need to deliver regular reports to create more transparency about PR’s progress
  • 13% felt agencies should use measurement insights to develop a more efficient/budget friendly PR program
  • 5.5% said agencies should leverage competitor measurement data to help their clients be more competitive

These are all good examples of how measurement can be used to improve PR results and, therefore, business relationships. It is not surprising that the number one response to this question relates to PR strategy. After all, clients expect strategic counsel as part of their PR services. Plus, agencies need laser focused strategies in order to ensure programs are efficient and effective. However, it is interesting to note that only one-third of industry professionals say their team uses measurement data to develop and adjust PR strategy. Clearly, agencies and clients recognize that data-driven PR strategy is important. But, it appears more agency teams need to follow their own recommendations, and actually use measurement, if they want to have stronger client-agency partnerships. And, clients need to make sure measurement is a factor when deciding which agency to hire.

Is your PR team using measurement to develop/improve PR strategy? Has that impacted your client-agency relationship? Let us know.

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