So You “Swiped Right” and Signed a Contract With an Agency. Now What?

Has the spark between you and your agency fizzled? Maintaining a professional partnership can be bumpy at times, but don’t breakup with your agency just yet! Here are a few tricks to keeping the love alive for all parties involved. If you want to improve your client-agency relationship, then look no further!

Managing expectations

When it comes to professional partnerships, managing expectations is essential. One way to do this is by kicking off a new client-agency relationship with a meeting to outline goals and potential strategies for addressing them. We recommend using  ‘design thinking’ methods to lead a productive brainstorming session. After this meeting, both parties should come away with clear next steps and measurable goals, which can be outlined with a scope of work. Once everybody is on the same page, then everyone can focus on generating results!

Delivering measurable results

Throughout each campaign it is crucial to measure your performance. Delivering measurable results to the client proves that your relationship is, or is not, working. These reports give insight to which aspects of your partnership might need improvement and which parts are flourishing. Metrics are often an indicator of the success of a campaign, so don’t skimp on the analysis. To help clients understand the importance of metrics and key performance indicators in public relations work, be sure to take the time to explain results in meetings. It is helpful to include a glossary within metrics reports so that clients have a better understanding of key terms.

Project-Based and Retainer Relationships

Relationships with clients can vary depending on whether or not the work you are contracted for is project-based or ongoing.

A project-based agreement means that the agency will work on projects on an as-needed basis with finite budgets and timelines. These projects tend to be well defined in terms of scope and expected deliverables. While these types of relationships often cost less out of pocket, it can cost more in time and materials. Additionally, project-based work only allows an agency a short-term look into the client’s business goals. This can stunt long-term goal measurement and obfuscate nuances that may be critical to success. Nonetheless, project-based work offers both parties a clear path toward the end goal.

Clients that opt to sign onto an ongoing contract are able to take advantage of building a well-established and collaborative relationship with their agency and account team. Retainer-based partnerships allow for a broad range of services and deliverables that can align with the organization’s long-term goals. Regardless of the kind of relationship you’re engaged in, it is important to keep communications strong and open throughout the duration of the partnership.


If you’re still wondering about how to manage the relationship with your agency, join us at the next DC Communicators event on February 1 to discuss this in person with DC experts in the field.

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