Don’t Be A Google Alert
Adding Value, Cracking SXSW, and Other Pearls of Client Service Wisdom
By Lyndsey Besser
“The second a piece of coverage hits, flag it to the client!” I remember being instructed to do this, many moons ago at a very different PR agency that shall remain unnamed. My heart-rate and blood pressure have never fully recovered.
Yes, we work in a fast-paced environment and things often happen quickly, but I challenge my teams here at Double Forte, and every communications professional, to take a step back, see the big picture, and be more than a Google Alert. Our clients trust us – our counsel, our analysis, our results – and that’s why they’re working with us. It’s crucial to spend some extra time in order to provide value, not just alerts.
Before sending anything to a client, or a teammate or reporter for that matter, I like to ask myself, “What is that person going to do with this information next?” Odds are you can anticipate the next step and that is what you should actually be working towards solving.
With coverage for example, would this particular hit make for a good Facebook post or do the visuals seem to be a better fit for Instagram? Should it go over to the board of directors? Is there an inaccuracy that we need to follow up on to have corrected? A piece of coverage should never simply be shared as an FYI. It’s should be sent along with context and a recommendation on what to do next. You know the client is going to do something with the information, so help them get that next step done. Your job is to help them do their job.
SXSW is another great example of somewhere you can add value. The voting portion of the panel picker recently opened. It’s not enough to tell your client, “Voting is live, here’s the link, be sure to share on social!” There’s so much more that could, and should, be done.
We took the time to prepare thorough recommendations, tailored to each submission, and provided clients with not only the necessary links, but instructions on signing up to vote, recommendations on multiple blog posts and when to share them, tips on leveraging a client newsletter, how to properly ask board members and investors to get involved, and so much more. And it was time well spent. We received so many appreciative notes from clients thanking us for going the extra mile with the recommendations. Job well done.
I’m all for setting up alerts, notifications, Slack Bots and whatever other systems can help me automate, streamline and work more efficiently, but at the end of the day, our value lies in the decades of experience and human learnings we collectively bring to the table. So take those few extra moments to really think about what you’re about to share, how you can be more helpful, and of course, spell check. Always spell check because we are in fact still human.