” Where do you think miscommunication with clients happen ?”
Emails are a communication channel that we are all glued to, but having a consistent communication flow in the “real-world” is integral to a partnership.
“Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.”
Every organisation, no matter how large or small, ultimately depends on its reputation for survival and success. That’s where digital PR comes into the picture. As the world of public relations becomes more and more integrated, it is crucial that PR practitioners understand the trends in digital PR.
In today’s competitive market, reputation can be a company’s biggest asset – the thing that makes you stand out from the crowd and gives you a competitive edge. Effective PR can help manage reputation by communicating and building good relationships with all organisation stakeholders.
Advertising is paid media, public relations is earned media. And of course, mastering this art of analyzing various trends in digital PR is not what everyone can do.
Our interview today is with an experienced Public Relations Professional – Meet Sofia Kathryn Coon
Sofia Kathryn, currently a Senior Account Executive @ Scratch Marketing & Media, was named one of the 2013 Next Generation Top 24 PR Pros to Watch by Arik Hanson. Also, she was the recipient of the 2012 Newhouse Public Relations Certificate of Achievement.
Sharing her tips on trends in digital PR and PR strategies , it’s truly an honor to host Sofia Kathryn in our Agency expert interview series:
1. How did you get into Account Management in the first place, and how did you get to where you are now?
I am currently a Senior Account Executive at Scratch Marketing & Media in Cambridge, MA. I work mainly on tech-focused accounts on media and analyst relations, social media, etc.
I learned about Public Relations as an undergraduate at Curry College in Milton, MA and fell in love with the field. Thanks to my mentor Kirk Hazlett, I was able to learn so much about the profession and left Curry knowing PR was the field where I wanted to spend my career.
After getting my master’s in Public Relations from the Syracuse University Newhouse School of Communications, I moved back to Boston and have worked in a number of global and mid-size agencies on technology, health-care, etc.
2. What do you believe to be the most important task you do on a daily basis to track latest trends in digital PR? Why?
Reading the news and seeing what the media agenda will be for the day. It’s always changing and I need to be able to inform my clients of the best way to insert their message and story into the discussions they want to be a part of.
3. Where do you think the most miscommunication with clients happen? (and why?)
Speaking with a client face to face or even via phone is so important. Emails are a communication channel that we are all glued to, but having a consistent communication flow in the “real-world” is integral to a partnership. A lot of work can be done digitally, but a PR or marketing professional is much more likely to hit a recommendation home or provide decision changing feedback, by having the clients full attention.
4. What do you believe your strongest tactical and/or client relation skill is? Why?
I love the media relations piece of my job. Getting to know reporters and the journalism industry has always been a passion of mine and understanding their beat, how they like to operate and what types of stories make them get up in the morning makes the process so much more enjoyable for both sides. When you can provide a reporter with an expert or original data that falls perfectly within their writing scope, it is mutually beneficial to both the client and the reporter. I love creating angles and opportunities for specific reporters and then leading them to fruition by being able to provide the content or data that the reporter needs the most to write the best story possible.
5. Have you ever had to break up with a client? How, specifically, did you handle the situation (ending things)?
I’ve had plenty of clients that decided to move on from working with a team I’ve been a part of at every agency I’ve worked. It’s a cycle that I’ve learned happens everywhere and there can be a number of reasons why. The most important thing to remember is that you need to make sure everything you are working toward client results and being the best partner possible. If you’re not providing a client with the right recommendations or feedback that they are looking for or aren’t hitting the specific KPIs that they see as successful, they have every right to decide you’re not the right partner for them.
6. Are there warning signs about a client relationship falling apart that you recognize now? What is your best advice if you feel a client relationship fracturing?
Honestly, it’s a part of the job to keep a pulse on how the client is feeling. Making sure you have the phone or face to face touch points mentioned above is crucial. This keeps you, as a partner, top of mind and reminds them that you are available to help them when they are in need.
Sometimes companies have a reason to make infrastructure changes externally and you can prove through your work and dedication that you are a team they want to keep around should something like that occur. At times this can be stressful, but if your team makes an effort to get to know the client contacts you can become more than a trusted advisor and create strong relationships that will last.
With this interview, we’ve got some great tips on Digital PR. Going forwards there are many more specialists that we want to chat with. We will resume our discussion with another expert next week.
Until then, Happy Marketing!!