In troubling circumstances like the Coronavirus pandemic, many people have undoubtedly wondered why some PR and Marketing businesses are surviving and thriving, and why others are having to close up shop. Is it purely luck? Is it just about having the right clients at the right time?

While many reputable agencies are dealt a good hand at one time or another, one of the main differences between a company that succeeds or fails, lies well and truly in having developed strong and meaningful client relationships.

Whilst it is only one of many factors that contributes to a business’ success, long-standing trusted client relationships are critical in helping a business grow and cementing a strong brand.  Deep relationships with each and every one of your clients allows for a loyal, trustworthy atmosphere and discussion, which in turn is the secret key for outstanding achievements and long-term success.

As an award-winning agency with a second-to-none market reputation in the comms space in Australia, here are some tips for how you develop meaningful relationships with your clients:

  1. Set expectations

Prior to working on projects, it is very important to establish a set of expectations for both parties to agree upon. You should be very clear about your services and what results the client should expect to see in return. Nothing should be off the table – be as transparent as possible and if the client isn’t giving you the in-depth information you need, be sure to ask about their goals and objectives well in advance. This will allow for not only a clear path of your responsibilities, but it should also build a level of respect between both parties.

2. Establish Roles

Establishing a rapport with a client can take time, therefore it is vital to set a clear understanding of roles from the onset. From the initial meeting, you should introduce all relevant team members to the client and clearly identify the responsibilities each person will carry. Clients will want the assurance that there is a complete team working across their campaign; so if you are a senior team member or business owner, reinforce that you will providing input and guidance throughout the campaign and not “palming them off” to team members that might be less experienced.

3. Communication

Excellent ongoing communication between both parties should be established from the initial greeting. This will allow for a level of trust to be formed, making work not only more enjoyable, but more efficient. It is important to maintain transparency and regularly update your client with the progression of your work. A phrase we like to use a lot at Agent99 is ‘You Steer, We Drive’ which basically means that you provide us with the guidance and information we need to manage the campaign, but we’ll be the ones to put our foot on the pedal and get you to where you need to be.   

We ensure this is the way we communicate with our clients, as they will feel a level of control, but also are informed throughout the process, building trust and knowing that we will do everything in our power to succeed.

4. Go above and beyond

There is a major difference between having a good relationship and a GREAT relationship with your clients. The difference lies within the effort you put in. Yes, we all know that as a business you need to reach targets and KPIs and to agreed deadlines, but the thing that will make you stand out from the crowd, is pushing hard and exceeding these goals.

Some simple ways you can do this involve completing things quickly before the client expects them, securing additional pieces of media/social coverage than the client anticipated, or even achieving a ‘surprise and delight’ result which is an office-term we use to describe going out of our way to make a client feel valued and important, by completing something that’s not in our campaign remit.

This will not only build your reputation as reliable and hardworking, but it will also make the client more likely to recommend your services to others.

5. Ask for feedback and use it

Let’s be honest; when you’re paying for a service, you more often than not, want to provide feedback about it. I’m sure we’ve all had that dreaded moment at the hairdresser where the stylist diverges a little too much from the picture you showed them…

Feedback is a necessary tool you need to use and implement with every client. Your client wants to be heard and assured that their investment is paying off, so make sure you ask them questions, clarify any misconceptions and keep their success top of mind, so that you can execute changes effectively and as required. Don’t just ask for feedback so that allows you to ‘tick a box,’ but really think about each piece of advice (good or bad) that the client gives and how you can change or adapt your services to cater to their idea of success.

One thing we employ at Agent99 is sending a post-campaign feedback survey to our clients, where we use a Net Promoter Score (NPS) to determine how they felt about our services and overall experience with us. The higher a company rates us on the NPS, the more likely they are to consult us for business in future and recommend us to others.

To conclude, while it is important to gain new clients that will help expand your business, it is equally important to remember to invest time in building and maintaining real connections with your current clients. By doing this, you will generate long term success for the business and hopefully cement some amazing relationships along the way.

By Intern Agent Hilda & Agent Emilie

Agent99 is an award-winning PR and communications agency based in Sydney. For more information about our services, contact us at

Further reading:
Five Great Business Habits – by Simon Rountree
How to Make Your Brand Stand out from the Competition