What it Means to be in a Client Service Business

There’s an overarching trend in the client service business. In fact, a week doesn’t go by in which we don’t have a similar conversation with a company in the throes of the agency search process. They need more brand awareness, their competitors are dominating the press, and their board wants to know what the plan is to change that. They’ve heard that SHIFT can solve the problem and they want to know what we’d do.

Us: “Why do you think you’re not currently getting the type of coverage you need and want?”

Prospect: “I have no idea. We have good spokespeople, our experts have bold opinions, and we’re doing something different in the market. But, time and time again, we see articles we should have been in or news we should have commented on. We need an agency that will push the ideas to us and be aggressive about getting us in the articles.”

When talking to prospective clients, their goals might be slightly different, but that last sentence is always the same. Whether the company’s current agency is underperforming or has a harried VP of marketing trying to do it all on their own, clients need a team that will take over, drive the PR program, and get it done right. Pure and simple.

When you work at a PR agency, you have to accept that you’re in a client service business. That means that clients hire us to solve their challenges, give them counsel, get the work done, and demonstrate dedication to their success. No one hires an agency to spend their time creating new storylines that can be pitched, finding new reporters to target, flagging breaking news articles, or asking for updates on action items.

Being in a client service business means we need to go above and beyond to get the coverage, the influencer relationships, the audience increases, etc. that our clients need. We need to genuinely care about the companies we work with. It means we don’t stop at the roadblock. We don’t rest on laurels. We don’t shirk the responsibility.

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