How many of your meetings this week could have been condensed into an email? Time is precious, and when you’ve spent hours sourcing, briefing and watching pitches, you want your new PR agency to just get on with it. However, dedicating time to onboarding is the key to a successful campaign — if it is done properly. Kirsty McMahon, new client strategist at Stone Junction, explains. 

When done right, a PR strategy session to kick off your campaign provides the opportunity to share knowledge, establish best practice and processes and builds relationships between all relevant parties. Here are my top three tips to make sure an onboarding meeting isn’t a waste of time for anyone involved.

Make a day of it
Allocating an hour to set out your PR campaign and share vital information to get things moving is not nearly enough. This is why, at Stone Junction, we like to make a day of it. The agenda for these Discovery Days includes an overview of the proposed campaign for the next three months, a knowledge sharing session about products and services from engineers as well as a customer discovery session.

Rather than relying on data sheets and tech specs, this lets your PR team learn everything they need right from the experts. This not only improves the accuracy, relevancy and quality of your campaign plan it also ensures the creation of reliable content that reflects the company’s technology and brand voice.

Come prepared
This is not the sort of meeting you can just wing. Each party has a very important role to play in these early stages and you must be ready to deliver. Agencies need to arrive armed with initial ideas , exercises or discussion points to draw out new ones as well as the necessary information to make collaboration easy for the client.

Clients, you need to have everything you want the agency to know — and the right people — at your fingertips. What products are a priority for you? What USPs need to stand out? Who, exactly, is your customer and what challenges do they face? How do your products work? What other marketing activity are you planning and when?

Get everyone involved
Nine times out of ten, marketing and communications representatives have a pretty good handle on PR, particularly why it matters and what it will achieve. But what about your design engineers, research and developers and C-level executives?

Not only is a Discovery Day the ideal opportunity to educate your team about the benefits of PR and get them excited, it also demonstrates the importance of their involvement. The technical knowledge and exciting company developments rest with more than the marketing manager. By engaging your team from the outset, you will see a greater appreciation for the PR campaign, mostly because it will generate the results the business truly needs.

To kick off your next PR campaign right, give me a call on +44 (0)1785 225416 or email to find out how we can build the best strategy for your needs — just remember, while it will take more than an email, it will be worth it.

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