Top Take-Aways from PRSA Counselor’s Academy Conference, May, 2011, Las Vegas

Top Take-Aways from PRSA Counselor’s Academy Conference, May, 2011, Las Vegas

While conferences are designed to teach us new things, they also remind us of what we’re not, but should, be doing. Here are my best take-aways:

1. Do one less old thing you already know a client doesn’t care about – and one new thing you know they do

2. Watch your staff time! For instance, if an SAE is doing AAE tasks, he/she’s working at the wrong level for efficiency – and income! Also, not all staff needs to be at all meetings, nor does every meeting require composing time-intensive reports.

3. “Find out what they want, how they want it – and give it to ‘em just that way!” (that’s a line from a famous musical which I found out some PRSA Counselor Academy members love but some hate – musicals, that is). This is applicable to client communication too. What’s their favorite style of communicating? E-mail, phone, meetings? Do they need prose in reports, or will bullets suffice? Are they formal or casual? What should you know about a hobby, a family, their non-profit involvements? Clients are people, too!

4. Become specialists in specific industries, professions. Doesn’t mean you can’t serve others.

5. Grow your current clients vs. hunting for new ones. Organic is in.

6. Immerse yourselves in your clients’ industries and issues. It’ll help broaden and deepen your services, and be educational as well.

7. Mandate and budget time for creative ideas – you know, the ones your clients didn’t necessarily ask for …

8. Potential clients: can you proudly include them on your roster? Do they fit your specialties? Value PR? Have any money? Develop a process for evaluating new business.

Props go to Roger M. Friedensen, @rogerfriedensen; Ken Jacobs, @kensviews; Bret Werner, @bret_werner; Kelly Womer, @linhartpr; Michael Lasky