As with any service industry, client tensions will inevitably arise from time to time. The issue is perhaps more acute in PR because despite recent progress, it is difficult to put a financial value on media coverage and other PR-related activities.

In a recent piece for Influence, the CIPR's weekly newsletter, professional services' PR expert Matt Baldwin provides some excellent advice on how to avoid these tensions.

In a nutshell, the article includes the following tips:

  • Don't over promise
  • Take time to understand a clients' business & sector
  • Fees - be transparent, if you have to charge for add ons, explain why
  • Maintain regular & meaningful contact

I would emphasise one final point:

  • Client team - all to often, large agencies will use their most senior executives in a pitch situation but then send in junior staff to run the account. It is not unreasonable for clients to expect to see the staff they met at the pitch. Sending in substitutes, no matter how competent, is probably one of the quickest ways to instill a lack of confidence.