Setting realistic client expectations, especially around earned media, isn’t the easiest conversation to have—but it is a necessary one. “Before we decide to collaborate together, I want prospective clients to feel comfortable with my approach,” says Justin Goldstein, president and founder of Press Record Communications, in his interview with us for the latest PR Profiles episode. “I think it’s also important to understand exactly who they want to target so we can tell them whether they have the assets to be able to do that.”
Justin’s approach with clients is to be proactive and quick to respond, while also setting the right boundaries. “I think there’s two extremes,” says Justin. “You don’t want to get into a habit with clients where they think that they can call at 10 o’clock at at night just to chat. Then there’s also not being responsive at all. You want to try to be somewhere in the middle.” For Justin, the middle is responding within 24 to 48 hours. “I think 24 hours for a turnaround is really important because it shows that you’re prioritizing their communication. And of course, the sooner that you can respond the better.”
Being proactive with clients takes a lot of different forms, but the big one for Justin and his agency is, “thinking two steps ahead and understanding where their pain points are.” Such pain points might include a lack of time on your client’s end, in which case, Justin suggests, “an end of week overview to give them an understanding of your progress and data and what you worked on.”
When Justin communicates with his clients about metrics, media, and other opportunities, he makes sure to provide information that not only his direct contact will find valuable, but also those who his contact reports to. “You’re not only communicating to your client—likely that’s a PR director or marketing director,” says Justin, “You’re also communicating to the people above them, whether that’s their board of directors, their C-suite or that person’s direct manager.”
Justin is great at communicating expectations and being in regular conversation with his clients, but he wants to be clear that being proactive and responsive also involves a whole lot of listening. “At the end of the day, listening and really hearing what the client’s saying in terms of what they want and then making the best adjustment that you can is what’s going to provide a more fruitful relationship.”
These types of conversations are one of the things Justin loves about being in PR as they allow an individual’s personality to shine. Justin believes that being able to show your true self helps keep people creative and excited and fosters better relationships between PR pro and client, and PR pro and journalist. “You feel like you’re a little bit more animated and it just creates a more fun atmosphere than I think some other professions would allow.”
The full interview with Justin is available as a podcast or on the Agility PR Solutions YouTube channel.