As President and COO, it may seem like writing blog posts would not be included in my job description. But I know better than that, especially with Prosper’s upside down servant leadership model. Our executive team empties the trash and makes coffee just like everyone else. So, here I sit, following through on my promise to write a blog post on agency operations in the midst of running Prosper for Purpose.
Which brings me to my topic of delivering your promise. In other words, how to take your word and make it come true for your clients.
You probably know the drill: You sit across from a prospective client and tell them about your mission and vision. You passionately describe how you help your clients and the world and how you want to help them too. They drink the Kool-Aid and now you’ve gotta make good on your word. Well, you can’t do it alone. So how do you take goals and make them a reality for your clients?
It happens through a combination of process and empowering your team with the tools to help your agency deliver both stellar client care and expert deliverables.
Set Up Your Agency and Your Clients for Success
Success starts with solid systems and clear expectations. Clearly communicate the scope and terms with your new client, and make sure you establish points and frequency of contact between your organization and theirs. Behind the scenes, set up your project management tools to track progress and deliverables.
We did extensive research and testing to select and implement an integrated set of platforms. Together, these tools handle the management of stakeholder relationships, agency operations, client and internal projects, and implementation.
Here’s an overview of our best of class picks and the way we utilize each platform.
PR Agency Management Tools
Let’s back up for just a second and address a frequently misunderstood term. What IS public relations? Public relations (PR) is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.
That said, managing those relationships with our own clients is of the utmost importance so we do everything in our power to create a smooth process that ensures mutual benefit. Here are the tools we use to do so:
- LiquidPlanner: Project and task management, time tracking, resource and timeline management
- GSuite: Gmail, Calendar and Drive for business
- Hubspot: Website, inbound marketing, sales, email and content marketing, social media management and analytics
- Intuit/Quickbooks Online: Bookkeeping
Deliver on Your Promise, Delight Your Clients
Once your client’s account and projects are setup, there are five steps you can take to make certain that your team is in sync and your clients are happy. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of best practices based on experience and successful applications.
Step 1: Discovery
Review and assess what your client has and what they need. We do this through a proprietary process we call the Prosper Road Map. The first rule of communications is know your audience, so start your research by tapping into the client’s understanding of who they are trying to reach and how they can help that particular group. During this discovery, take the time to nail down measurable objectives with your client so you can track success throughout the project.
Step 2: Insights
Once we’ve tapped into our client’s knowledge of their organization and audiences, we then add to our research with outside sources. From reviewing social and web analytics, analyzing industry trends or conducting interviews, this upfront effort reveals your client’s areas of opportunity.
Whenever possible, we learn from direct conversations with our client’s stakeholders, such as internal staff, customers, vendors and prospects.
Step 3: Planning
Every project needs a plan. Whether we’re developing a brand, a fundraising campaign or a media relations strategy, we compile our research and insights into one organized plan.
A solid plan details your goals, measurable objectives, audiences, key messages and strategies. For each deliverable to the client, map out the necessary tactics to reach your objective.
Tasks within each category (media, advertising, social, etc.) are assigned to team members and placed in a timeline. Beyond that, all the nitty-gritty details are entered into our project management system.
Step 4: Implementation
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Let creative sparks fly while the system runs like a well-oiled machine. With the right tools and planning, you’ll have a smoother ride. Time to enjoy the process of meeting deadlines and delighting clients!
Step 5: Tracking
Data should inform each successive step of your client projects. Have your tools and platforms collect data in the background and set regular checkpoints for analysis. If the data shows that one of your tactics is working exceptionally well, dig deeper to learn which factors are driving its success. When something isn’t working, remain flexible and open to adjustments. Try tweaking one element at a time to isolate and identify the problem.
Every step of the way, keep the lines of communication with your clients and coworkers open. At Prosper for Purpose we value honesty and maintain transparency with our clients and team alike. In business, as in our personal lives, remember that “your honest word is one of your most precious and powerful possessions.”
Subscribe to the Prosper Perks newsletter for regular insights on how to keep your organization running strong!