10 lessons from 20 years of PR business

Clients will come and go. Keep your long-term focus on keeping your foundations strong, and your agency will survive.

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This article first appeared on PR Daily in September, 2015.

My agency, Peppercomm, observed its 20th anniversary this month.

In two decades of living la dolce vita in the wonderful world of PR, I’ve learned many, many lessons.

Here are my top 10:

1. Treat your agency as your most important client. Like baseball managers and football coaches, PR firms are hired to be fired. It may take a week, a month, a year or a century, but you will lose that cherished anchor account. Maintaining a robust new business pipeline is absolutely critical. The best way to do so is to create a dedicated, in-house agency marketing team that’s constantly creating new and provocative content.

2. Experience your client’s brand from the outside in. Too many PR firms take whatever research the client provides as gospel. Don’t. Instead, put yourself in the client’s stakeholders’ shoes and experience the organization from the outside in. That additional insight will enable you to correctly identify exactly how the client’s key message(s) should interact with the audiences’ wants and needs.

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