So, you’ve received the proposal, signed the contract and now, it’s time to get stuck into work with your new public relations team; but what do you bring to your first meeting together?
Whether you’re new to all things PR or you’ve never worked with an external consultancy before, the idea of your first meeting with the new team might seem a little daunting.
Will they really understand my business and what I’m trying to achieve? What if I don’t understand their lingo? Will I be able to trust them with my business? How much control will I have to hand over?
While these are all common and valid concerns many new clients have, it’s important you can trust the team you’re working with and feel supported and excited about this new step in your business journey. In light of this, one of the best ways you can feel more confident going into the first meeting with your new PR team is if you’re both prepared and open to a no holds barred discussion about your business, your goals and opportunities.
At BBS Communications Group, we’ve had many first meetings with clients, across all levels of PR and consultancy experience. So, speaking from our own experience, here are five things we recommend you bring to your first meeting with your PR team to get set for success.
1. Your business plan/strategy
Following on from your initial brief to your PR team, one of the most helpful things you can bring to your first meeting together is your business plan or strategy. This initial meeting is the perfect opportunity for a more in-depth discussion about your company, its history, goals, target audiences, products, services and key people – anything that might help your consultants to better align their work with your strategy and business objectives.
2. Your schedule
An important part of working with your PR team will be ensuring open lines of communication, so it’s a good idea to establish the best methods and timeframes for contact early on. Bringing along your schedule to that first meeting will help the PR team determine how to best work within your time parameters, from day-to-day contact and regular meetings to emergency communications. Everyone operates differently, so outlining when and where you are contactable, preferred contact methods and alternative points of contact, will ensure contact with the team is efficient and effective.
3. An open mind
While this isn’t something you have to remember to pop in your bag, an open mind is certainly an important tool to bring to your first meeting with your PR team. The world of PR is always evolving and so having any rigid ideas about what it may involve can be a significant roadblock in the initial meeting process. Some of the best ideas are brought to life when everyone brings an open mind to the meeting and a willingness to explore new ways of thinking. If you haven’t worked with a PR or marketing team before, some ideas might involve you and your staff stepping outside your comfort zones. For example, being involved in interviews, taking photos, filming videos and networking with other businesses might seem daunting, but remember your PR team is there to help guide you through these experiences and achieve the best results for your business.
4. Plenty of questions
Whether you already have some understanding of PR and communications or not, it can be helpful to come to your first meeting with any questions you might still have to better understand the field. For example, in terms of media relations, our goal is generally to help generate a positive public profile for our clients, usually achieved through earned (not paid) coverage in print, online or broadcast outlets. However, there are many facets to PR and distinct differences from marketing and advertising activities, so feel free to ask away to better understand what might be achievable within the PR scope.
5. Idea to workshop
When it comes to PR and communications, content is king. The more newsworthy ideas you have, the better your results are going to be. While it’s your PR team’s job to determine a newsworthy story angle and prepare the pitch, there can be some real hidden gems of story ideas within your business. Therefore, if you have any ideas for potential stories, please bring them to the first meeting. Your team will bring their ideas also and together you can discuss what ideas might have which news factors. Ideas might include:
- Research findings
- Team culture and events
- Commentary from high level executives on relevant industry news and topics
The earlier your PR team knows about new happenings in your business, the more time they will have to plan an angle, organise a pitch and achieve the best results for you.