At Sprout Creative PR, we’re all about collaboration. We see ourselves as partners to our clients, and work hard to build strong relationships with the various teams that make up their organisations. A mutually beneficial alliance on this level means we’re leveraging resources, experience and creativity – on both ends – to innovate and solution, together.
We’ve found that this approach works for us, and we’re excited to share how we bring it all together.
Building mutual success by growing together
As partners, we view our clients’ successes as our own, because we passionately work alongside them every step of the way. Ira Lacroix, from Agility PR Solutions, wrote that ‘a partnership breeds trust, which allows you to make recommendations to assist in your client’s success’, and this resonates strongly with us. Consultants add value to their clients by playing an advisory role, but aren’t necessarily involved in seeing the operation through from beginning to end. However, as partners, we own every success and failure, and take full accountability to ensure that every piece of advice we give ultimately has a positive outcome.
Really getting to know each client
Fast Company’s article ‘Revealing the Naked Truth Behind the Agency-Client Relationship’ suggests that although ‘90% of agencies say they truly understand their clients’ business, only 65% of other-halves agree. It’s a classic he-said, she-said situation that reveals the client-agency relationship is a pretty dysfunctional one.’ We make it our mission to understand everything there is to know about our clients, and their business, and this is why we embrace spending as much time in our client’s office as possible.
We spend quality time with our clients, and other agencies that they may be working with, both in and out of the office. We’ve found that this gives us deeper insight into the content and strategy that we develop, and helps us hit the mark in terms of client expectations.
Adding value across all departments
Yes, we’re trained and experienced in communications and media relations, and it’s what we’re good at, but our talents aren’t limited to these areas. We’re realising more and more, that we can add value to our clients in various other departments too. For example, we are working on a fintech project that utilises *design thinking to create self-forming teams to achieve objectives, within a limited time. Team members can participate in activities across the company including finance and tech, brand and marketing, human resources, and so on, without belonging to that department specifically. After all, just because you are skilled in one area, doesn’t mean that you can’t add tremendous value in another. We have seen this approach work for ourselves, internally and with our clients, and this has encouraged us to speak more freely when we can potentially assist our client with something outside of brand communications scope.
Being the ‘bad guy’ with good intentions
Our intentions with our clients are very clear – we only want the best outcome possible, and we are willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen. For us, honesty is always the best policy. In Drew McLellan’s Advertising Age article, ‘Agencies: Stop Thinking Like a Vendor and Act Like a Partner’, he says ‘although it’s easy to tell clients what they want to hear, true partners won’t do that. Communicate what clients need to hear, even at the risk of losing them. If you’ve built a strong rapport, that won’t happen.’
Recently we had to advise our client that their website simply wasn’t speaking to the right consumer. Sure, it wasn’t nice for them to hear, and for a few seconds they may have wished to pour our coffees on our laps, but after a few minutes of reflection – based on a solid rationale – realised that we were only telling them this because we want to see them do well. Needless to say, they are now in the development stage of a truly, kick-ass website (*stay tuned).
*Design Thinking – Keep your eyes on our blog for more information. We’re developing this content now, and can’t wait to share! In the meantime, you can find out more about design thinking on the Interactive Design Foundation website.
Photo Cred (for cover): Zac Schrueder