As teenagers, we distinctly remember allowing ourselves to fall backwards into the arms of our closest friends with complete faith that they would catch us. TRUST FALL, we would call it.
Now as working PR professionals, we’ve learned that the client trust fall takes some time (And by time we don’t mean 12 hours after the retainer is signed).
It is almost inevitable that you and your client will experience waves of ups and downs; it’s a natural part of the process. However, through hard word work and perseverance, you will eventually earn each other’s undeniable respect and be able to form a relationship based on mutual trust.
Recently, a survey done by RPA (Rubin Postaer and Associates) and USA Today concluded that there are 4 ways to build trust in agency-client relationships:
1. Focus as much on interpersonal communication as we do mass communication.
2. Work with clients to better define and understand the evolving role of creativity.
3. Support clients in recognizing the distinction between "different" and "risky".
4. Practice the art of business as much as the art of PR.
Take these tips with you to your next client meeting and rest assured that your agency-client relationship will only flourish.
Word of advice: You might want to wait a few months on the trust fall..