How to Manage Client Expectations in a PR Agency

Dealing With Unrealistic Client Expectations



Have you ever worked with a client who wants everything done right here right now?

I believe all of us have worked or continue to work with such clients at one point.

So what do we do to Manage Client Expectations?

We all want to give what the client wants, but sometimes it’s just not possible, whether in a given timeframe or at all. We do not want to disappoint them so if there’s anything we can do to make things happen, even if sometimes they go a little beyond our agreed scope of work, we do it anyway.

But for other requests that we cannot fulfill, the most important thing to do is to manage the client’s expectations.

Don’t overpromise.  Never overpromise!

Explain to them what can and can’t be done.

We might be called agencies, but we act more as consultants rather than agents who deliver the bosses’ message. As a partner, we are also tasked with the responsibility to educate our clients on how the industry works.

Eventually, if we do that bit of our job right, their internal planning will become more and more aligned with how PR works in the real world, in turn making our jobs much easier.

In the media services industry where agencies are supposed to be the experts in a very specialized field, the customer may not always be right. In fact, it is our job to train them so that even if we stop working with them, they will have had a few takeaways from the relationship that we had with them.

It’s a mutually beneficial relationship and other than the standard PR clippings and media placements that we worry about daily, a long-term view of growing with the client should always be one of our goals.


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