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By Mariel Yohe

Three Steps To Interim PR Solutions When Client’s Needs Change

How often does this happen to public relations professionals? You’re plugging along your planned activities and programming for the client, when all of a sudden, your client contact tells you to stop what you’re doing and that things have changed and the current programming is no longer needed or desired.

After your jitters have calmed down, you recognize that change happens and, as happens with any professional service business, client needs are constantly evolving and changing. So, retaining clients and keeping them happy, means adapting and going with the ebbs and flows of accounts.

When the first knee-jerk reaction of jitters calms down, there are steps that can help plug the hole in your retainer – or not. In any case, first step is to:

  1. Identify why the previously agreed-upon PR programming was stopped. Did it go south because of personnel or other internal changes at the company? Did the old marketing goals no longer align with the changes? Clearly understanding what triggered the change in programming is the first step toward finding a viable solution.
  2. Review current programming to check what’s salvageable or what’s tweakable, before throwing out the client and the bathwater. This can help spark new ideas that fit the changed client needs or it can crystalize what goals or activities still matter to the client.Nothing salvageable? Go back to the drawing board and brainstorm brand new concepts that would better support the changes in real time.
  3. Identify new client opportunities. Start digging deeply into a client’s industry news or their upcoming events calendar, to find opportunities for PR programming. What is the current buzzworthy news in client trade publications? What events or sales missions are coming up that PR could amplify your client’s presence? While these opportunities could generate much success for your client in the interim, to ensure new tasks support their needs, continue to review your client’s goals and the identified problem from step one.