At Open Communications we always talk about understanding our clients business so that we are able to make realistic and appropriate recommendations to support their PR, social media and corporate communications briefs.
As an agency we always think it is important to take the chance, where possible, to work from our clients offices in order to get a real idea of how they work and what ‘a day in the life of’ that business would really be like.
I had the pleasure of spending such a day with Gent Visick recently. We were asked to look at some copywriting for them and suggested that it would be more efficient in terms of time and effective in relation to approval if I worked from their offices – rather than calling and emailing every few minutes.
The day was a real success and it was certainly a huge help from my side. It can be difficult to write copy when you don’t truly understand a business – but when you are literally surrounded by it and listening to what is going on you get more of an insight and better still a sense of the personality of that company.
This Friday I will once again be working with a client in their offices and will be looking forward to ‘Fat Friday’, which I have been warned is the name given to the only day of the working week when all diets are banned.
It is this insight that you don’t get when you maintain a ‘them’ and ‘us’ relationship with your clients. This is why when we started Open Comms, many moons ago now, we decided to work WITH our clients rather than FOR them.
Not only does this make building relationships easier but it means that we are able to work as a genuine extension of their teams and also that they are able to share even the most confidential of information with us knowing that it will remain just that – confidential.
I wouldn’t change our approach to the way we work with our clients as I believe it is of mutual benefit. What I don’t understand is agencies who clock watch and prefer to give exactly what their clients pay for and nothing else. This might be commercially beneficial in the short term but longer term I still think we’ve got it right. But then I would.