By Jeff Cheatham, Senior Account Supervisor at TrizCom PR
I was in a new business meeting last year with two executives from a company out of Houston, Texas. No strangers to the power of PR, they had engaged a firm on retainer for the past year but just weren’t seeing the results they had hoped for the amount they were spending. One of the executives remarked that the only thing the firm had brought to them in the last month was an opportunity to write an editorial for placement in an industry publication. And they didn’t even offer to write it.
“What type of PR plan are they working from?” I asked. They both looked up. Then they looked at each other. Then they looked back at me. I had the answer I suspected. The company was completely clueless as to what the PR firm was working on. There was no plan submitted – monthly, quarterly or annually. No review of ideas, tactics or strategies delivered on a regular basis. No updates. Just a seat-of-the-pants dart board game in which once in a while they got a hit.
Who does this? How are they getting away with it? At TrizCom PR, we want our clients to feel comfortable asking this question at any time: What are you even doing? But the way we operate, they never get the chance. We pride ourselves on developing strategic public relations and media outreach campaigns. The length of time they cover varies depending on the client and the type of industry they’re in, but everyone has an idea of what we’re working on together to achieve success.
At TrizCom, we’ve even patented an internal “Monday Morning Check-In” email that gets delivered to our client contacts before our weekly staff meeting at 10 a.m. Why do we do this? Because we want our clients to know what our shared pending items include. We’ll tell you if you have a press release that needs approval, an interview Wednesday at 2 p.m. and an editorial byline opportunity – if you can approve it before the two-week deadline. And we’ll even take the steps to write it, if necessary.
And how about measurement? Does your current firm hold themselves accountable for the results they produce? While there’s no such thing as guaranteeing coverage, we pride ourselves on performing without a safety net, so to speak. And just as you get a regularly updated PR Plan, you’ll get a regularly updated PR Clip Report. For me that means some of my busiest weeks occur at the end of every quarter. But it sure makes annual client retainer renewals easier to sign.
What are we even doing? That’s what we’re doing.