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“Historically, PR, Marketing and Advertising budgets are the first to be cut; however, that could be one of the first mistakes a business makes in an economic crisis.CBSMarketwatch

As the above quotes implies stopping is not the solution. It’s better to a have right level of commitment from client and agency can lead to maximum results and ensures that your PR budget is effectively utilized. So based on our long years of experience as a Dubai headquarted PR agency in winning and retaining relationships with clients from diverse industry sectors ranging from cosmetics to defense, we have listed our tips on how to effectively manage a PR agency and vice versa:

·Work with the client not for the client – Agency should be considered as the integral part of the organization rather than just a third party. This will ensure the best results come. As a client, your budget will be most effectively utilized when your agency works for doing PR with you, not to or for you.

·Open Channels of communication – There should be no hidden information other than sensitive data which are not relevant to the communications agency. It’s better to share all information no matter how trivial it might be. The agency will have talent and key eye for an opportunity to take this basic of information and turn it into valuable content.  

·Close Focus – High-level focus from both sides of the partnership is just as important as the attention of day-to-day contacts. If your agency’s senior people aren’t involved, you may not be getting the agency’s best thinking. If you want the agency to allocate a dedicated team to focus on your business, make sure you allocate the budget to engage them. Retainers can go a long way to ensure constant effort by the right people – and can provide financial predictability for both you and the agency.

·Agree on policies upfront – Make sure everyone shares the expectations and takes responsibility with regard to reporting, invoicing, communicating, etc. at the onset. Although these procedures may be less important than strategy, service and creativity, if they’re not established early on, you risk unnecessary delays within the relationship which can drain valuable resources

·Quarantine and attack problems together – Don’t wait for issues to build up. Take a continuous improvement approach to identify the problem without the blame game, work together for a sound resolution, and move on.

·Agree on the PR campaign objectives and expected results – The team can’t hit the target if they don’t know what it is. Get everyone on the same page, early on.

·Be Realistic & Fair – The golden rule applies. If you’re the client, it helps to set realistic budgets, establish fair deadlines, and provide clear direction and complete information. If you’re the agency, be accountable, keep the client informed, give the client your best efforts, and understand the constraints/politics the client faces. Instead of presenting the client with new problems, help them solve the problems they have.

·Respect and encourage each other – Learn all you can about your partner. Each partner brings something different to the team, and if we understand each other’s viewpoint and respect each other’s ideas, talents and perspective, we can create a better outcome for everyone.

·Be a good Partner – If you’re the agency, be thrifty with the client’s budget and get your invoices out on a timely basis. If you’re the client, take care of the housekeeping issues upfront to ensure the agency can get paid on a timely basis. Nothing builds more resentment or frustration – or wastes more time and effort – than overdue receivables. Every minute that the agency principal is focused on getting an overdue invoice paid is a minute that she/he is not generating ideas or results for you.

·Reward – Celebrating successes with your partner along the way helps to unify and uplift your team members on both sides of the partnership. A little fun and recognition can go a long way to supercharge your team’s members … and will spark them to stretch even further, together.