News flows by the minute. As PR pros we are best when we are not resting on the media topics of the day, but on how our clients' business can be added, regurgitated and restructured into the news of tomorrow. But even if we are emailing the client daily with new ideas, articles for comment or trending stories, often the client does not realize how important their role is in this never ending news cycle.
Often we must train the client to understand the timeliness and importance of sharing their personal viewpoint and their take on a business, product, or event as the expert.
Here are a few ways of getting clients to realize their role as news curators:
Get it in writing. While drawing out the contract or proposal, devote a line around the media coverage section that lays out the responsibility on the client's end in terms of response time, opinion sharing and your expectations.
Know the business. Encourage your client early on that while you are interested in their public perception, you need to work with them to have a firm grasp of their business - trends, profitability, goal sharing, other. This gives insight to possible and future trends and keeps one step ahead of the media.
Spoon feed. Sometimes when sharing an article or link with no explanation, clients will not know what to do with it or save for later. Pre-empt their response by leading with a few trigger words, ex: "This ___ could be detrimental to our industry because .... " or "The impact of _____ on employees could mean ..." or "The author may also want to consider ..... "
Trust their words. While we pride ourselves for knowing how to write for media and key words for the right audience, sometimes..... the client just says it best. I have great respect for my clients who have been in their respective industries for years and often, will look for them to speak from their head and heart for just the right turn of phrase which could summarize a point beautifully.
Invite them into the club and make sure they know they are part of a team.