Lesley Whyte shares her thoughts on cementing the best relationship with your agency. Having held both senior in-house and agency PR positions during my career I’m often asked which I prefer? While my answer could naturally talk about the pros and cons of both, I’m always more interested in talking about the crucial relationship between the two. No matter which seat you take at the table – in-house or agency – the key to getting the best results from your PR strategy is working in partnership. A partnership where both parties play an equal role. A partnership where the flow of information between both parties is always open and honest as well as timely. Interestingly as reported in PR Week, a survey by the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) found that 51% of agency respondents thought personal chemistry was the most important element of the relationship. A PR agency can only work its magic providing the right strategic, results-driven and successful campaign ideas to the party, if they start with a mutual understanding of the aims and objectives and ensure the flow of information from both parties remains transparent. An agency like Custard will always proactively invest time auditing the organisation at the start of the relationship and will look at ways to creatively deliver an achievable strategy that delivers results. However, building that relationship takes ongoing commitment, chemistry, honesty and passion, in which both parties need to continually invest to ultimately reap the mutual business benefits. It’s therefore imperative to approach the relationship that you’re on the same team. You’re trying to achieve the same goal whether that’s boosting sales and enquiries or raising brand awareness. It’s not ‘us and them’. You both need to pull together while appreciating each other’s counsel. Often some of the best ideas can be born from working collaboratively. Agencies aren’t simply there to ‘do stuff’, they want to make a real and tangible difference to your business. The best agency-client relationships are based on mutual trust to ensure you stay on the same page. If you would like to brief Custard or talk to someone about your Marketing and PR objectives, please call or email Petra Clayton, MD.