Any successful romantic relationship requires a level of ‘chemistry’ – the emotional connection that is created when the two people are together.
This is no different when it comes to PR agencies working with clients, where the two parties must work together and commit to navigating different situations and campaigns.
According to Milk & Honey managing director Caroline Addy, chemistry in PR is all about two-way communication.
“Having chemistry with a client is fantastic, but it comes in all different shapes and sizes,” she said.
“Chemistry doesn’t mean always nodding, smiling and agreeing. Being able to have transparent conversations and challenge each other are overlooked advantages of good chemistry.
“It’s not all serious moments though! PR, sales and marketing can all be tough gigs so being able to have a laugh with clients and get to know them on a personal level is a perk of the role.”
Like a real-world relationship, once the chemistry is established, the relationship can reach the next level.
“Ultimately, we don’t want to be a service, or a supplier, we want to be an extension of their team, which requires trust,” Addy said.
She reflected on a recent new business win, which saw the new client ask Milk & Honey to sign and agree to its ethical code.
As well as showing Addy and her team that this business took ethics seriously, the gesture also highlighted just how far the PR industry has come.
“I was delighted to sign it; even more so because it came from a huge, multinational company,” she said.
“As we’ve continued on our journey its been fascinating to see the extremely high levels of awareness and desire to demonstrate a better kind of business from companies, regardless of their age or size.”
As an agency that takes great care and consideration when it comes to selecting the clients it pitches for, it was no coincidence that Milk & Honey found itself working with a company that had a strong moral code.
Addy said she believes it is “unfair” on the team if a PR agency now chooses to work with a client that doesn’t have a strong moral code.
“It’s not something I would get fulfilment or a sense of achievement from so why would I expect my team to do it?”
The indie effect
Operating as an independent agency, Milk & Honey has more freedom to work with a select range of clients.
While Milk & Honey’s founder created the agency after experiencing the realities of big agency work, independents are all Addy has ever known.
“I’ve worked in small, young, independent PR agencies my whole career. The thing I’ve learnt is that age is just a number and size doesn’t matter,” she said.
“What does matter is chemistry, strategic thinking, communication, teamwork, doing what you say you’ll do and demonstrating value. It’s that simple.
“That’s why – just nine months in and four people strong – Milk & Honey Australia has secured several amazing clients, despite the challenges of a pandemic!”
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