I'm about to make a fundamental shift in the way we do business and take on new clients.
In thinking about the way we serve our clients, and the way we want to serve new ones, I have some new rules that we are going to put into effect today.
So, if you are a prospective client reading this post, or if I have sent you to this post as an introductory pitch for our firm, here are the 10 basic principles by which can best work with you.
Principle #1: We're in it together as partners for a minimum of six months. The discovery, the messaging, the strategy, the pitching, the dialogues with journalists, analysts, bloggers, thought leaders, road shows, press tours, editorial calendars, tweaking messages, and more....this takes a six month cycle.
If you have a short term PR objective, we can't (...or rather, we won't) take you on as a client.
There is a 30-day termination clause in our contract and if you don't like what we do, you can cancel the agreement.
Principle #2: PR and the way want to practice PR is not just about getting media and analyst coverage. It's about communicating and building relationships with your "publics."
Principle #3: We want to help you build and grow communities. Web 2.0 and Social Media tools and platforms are great enablers for this.
Principle #4: We are shifting from just pure pitching (which we are very good at, by the way) to helping our clients, being "found." At times, we will write and create messages for robots (i.e.- spiders who crawl and look for specific words) and humans ( i.e. - journalists, bloggers and analysts).
Principle #5: Much of what we do is by discovery.
A PR plan? Of course.
Strategy? Yup. You got that here.
But you need to understand that as we help to grow and build your company, we need to figure some things out along the way. So for the risk of really being out there- sometimes we even make it up as we go along.
Principle #6: If you are looking for cute and catchy ideas before we move forward, we can't help you.
We don't work on spec and chances are if you are being pitched with ideas with no client input and meaningful two-way conversations, then you could be buying a big bill of creative goods.
Principle #7: Even if we have experience in your space, we'll pretend that we don't, because we are only as good as our last gig in your space.
You may feel rest assured that we did a great job for so-and-so, but that does not mean we'll do likewise again. In many cases, we help develop or create new markets - or new market categories, so even though we've never done this before, we actually have. Hard work, creative thinking, "listening" to journalists and analysts, rather than just pitching them, is what helps us make you a successful client.
Sometimes we strike a chord. Sometimes we just get lucky.
Oh- we're pretty good at creating our own luck....
Principle #8: We want tp participate in and create content for the blogosphere.
If you are blogging, then all the better.
We are all for promoting you via the media, but you are going to have to take on some of the responsibility of looking at blogs and influential bloggers who you can interface with and have them begin talking about your company. If you don't mind a nudge here and there, we'll get you going.
Principle #9: We want to help yout think beyond text.
We want to help you start thinking about how to add sound and images to the fabric of your messages, your influence, and thought leadership.
Principle #10: You have to be ok with our tweaking the PR strategy as it unfolds. Sometimes our messages don't resonate. So we do a mid-course correction.
We're in it for the long run and look forward to a long run and very successful relationship with you.