At this moment in time, the PR industry is going through a heavy period of change. AI language models can produce excellent written copy, and the analytical use of data is proving to be a key differentiator. 15 years ago, strong writing skills could take an agency very far, but with the digital transformation of the economy, everyone has to adapt, including PR professionals.
Despite this period of flux, many things remain consistent. The art of account management and delivering great PR work for clients has a lot of facets, here are my top three tips for success.
1. Be consultants, not suppliers
PR is a consultative industry. We’re valued for our advice as much as the deliverables we create for clients. As a result, we shouldn’t be afraid to offer a contrarian view to clients, suggest alternative approaches, and be honest with our opinions.
However, this comes with caveats. If we’re not sure about a client’s approach or stance, we need to be prepared to offer a better idea or an alternative way to address challenges.
We’re consultants and not suppliers. Account managers should feel empowered to offer honest advice, as if you’re an extension to a client’s team. This is often the best way to help clients achieve their strategic communications goals, and is core of what separates the best from the rest.
2. Long-term wins over short-term
Working in PR, it can be easy to get lost in the news cycle. Hot trends come and go, and while it's great work to capitalise on the latest buzz (a certain chatty AI comes to mind) it can be a fool’s errand to think this media success will last forever.
Account management often means taking the longer road, and media strategy is the same. It’s not sustainable to merely ride the peaks and troughs of what’s hot right now. True PR success comes from anticipating large global and economic trends, and how they impact your client.
Will shortages in energy mean your client has more scope to speak about its environmental initiatives? Has a hiring shortage in their industry presented them with a better opportunity to discuss their leading HR strategies? Is the economy hitting a boom period where a huge Series C funding round isn’t the big news it was before? By assessing such macro influences, PR can be successful and sustained.
3. It's a team effort
Leading accounts is about more than delivering results. It’s about getting the team to buy into the mission, making everyone a fundamental part of the client’s success.
At Resonance, everyone from new starters to senior leadership has great ideas that are vital parts of successful PR campaigns. There is no “I” in team, and account management involves getting the best out of everyone.
PR professionals need to adapt to new technologies and analytical methods, but the core values of consulting, focusing on long-term wins, and teamwork are still essential for success.
By acting as consultants rather than suppliers, taking a long-term approach, and making account management a team effort, PR professionals can help their clients achieve their strategic communications goals and stand out in a crowded marketplace.