Don’t miss the first part of this post where we offer advice for managers and team leads to follow during the first week of a new account kick off.
Welcome back! You survived your first week ramping up on a new account and have a better understanding of your client’s assets and top level needs. Now what? Here are some considerations for weeks two through four.
The second week of a program is still foundational as you’ll more than likely host the kickoff meeting to understand your client’s top priorities for the program — which means you can deliver a final 6-month PR plan to the client on week three. For your team, here are a few important things you should consider:
Meet with your team to understand the media coverage progress. During week one, the goal is for your team to have secured media coverage and made inroads with their network of contacts; week two is about getting specific feedback from media to modify pitch efforts, identify barriers and ultimately report recent work to the client during the kickoff meeting. This not only ensures you’re identifying the team’s needs early on but also gives you the opportunity to cultivate a partnership with your client to get assets and resources as needed.
Create reporting templates, such as weekly agendas and a monthly report format. Based on the client’s preference for reporting and media progress during the first two weeks, you should have a good understanding of how to report and communicate weekly work to your client.
“Go live” with your client news scan and start flagging rapid response opportunities. Week two is where the team turns up the volume on the program by efficiently sharing news with the client and flagging potential reactive opportunities that could lead to media coverage. Tackling rapid response in week two is important because this approach h forces the team to understand the landscape quicker and perfect the client’s voice by writing commentary. This portion of the program also develops a client’s trust and grows their enthusiasm for the program with the flurry of activity your team is creating.
Finalize internal assets, including media lists and editorial calendars. It should be a focus to nearly complete these items during week one so the team can start pitching and perfecting their outreach focus in week two. But, if not, ensure these items are completed before the end of week two.
By week three, the team should be more comfortable driving their independent client goals. As a manager, you should continue to lean in and reach down — editing/reviewing pitches and suggesting rapid response opportunities — to help drive smart coverage and increase team motivation. It’s also important to hold first-of-the-week and mid-week check-ins to understand the weekly progress of your team. A few other week-three priorities:
Hold the first weekly client call. By week three, with the expectations and media direction you’ve set, your team has ample media progress to report (from intro and rapid response pitching) and follow up questions for the client to build out new pitches for week three and four.
Finalize and deliver the six-month PR plan. It’s important to get this right because this plan is a guide for your team — it should set the direction of the program for the first six months. As a comprehensive guide, it should reflect what you’ve decided with the client, including goals, strategies, messaging, owned editorial and news timeline, platforms and pitch calendar, analyst relations insight, as well as social, speaking, and award recommendations.
Analyze the media opportunities the team has secured. Before the end of the first 30 days, it’s important to evaluate the media opportunities your team has secured and determine where to pivot and focus to generate a few more wins before the end of week four. Take an hour to review angles pitched, contacts reached and media feedback so you can refocus the team or suggest ways to adjust the outreach approach.
Host the first team pitch lab. Since the team has been pitching the client for three weeks (and you’ve spent time analyzing those efforts), you know how familiar they are with newsworthy trends and topics, and their ability to provide fresh ideas for the program. This is the perfect time to host your team’s first pitch lab for this account to ensure the team stays focused and energized to continue media momentum for the program.
Before the end of the first 30 days, you should have delivered all program assets to the client, secured media coverage and feedback, and structured your team’s long-term priorities for the account. While you should still be leaning in to support media progress, it’s also important that you notice growth from the team during this time. At the 30 day mark, your goal as a manager should be to create extremely self-sufficient PR bulldogs for your new client. Moving forward, your role shifts to focus on elevating and amplifying the work they’re doing to secure top-tier press and generate widespread brand awareness. Work toward that team goal for your new client and be sure to effectively over communicate your team’s work with your new client contact. When the first month concludes, deliver your first monthly report to the client and hit repeat on all the smart, aggressive PR work you’re executing.
Good luck to all the PR pros taking on exciting new client adventures!
Senior Account Manager