Monday, May 21, 2012

Sustaining an Agency/Client Relationship

Perhaps the biggest industry surprise this year was the announcement by Gina Din Corporate Communications that its 10-year marriage with Safaricom had finally come to an end; was it that the union had lasted so long? My reckoning is that the average life of a relationship between an agency and client lasts between three to four years. That is little more than the blink of an eye compared with the Gina Din/Safaricom marriage which stood the test of times. Am not sure I want to say this; Telcos seem to appear to be among the most loyal partners. After all, Celtel appointed ZK PR & Advertising and stuck with them all through the rebranding to Zain before they were offloaded a few months to the launch of Airtel. On the other hand, Corporate Reflections has been working with Association of Insurance Brokers (AIBK) for a record seven years. The consultancy, which also serves as the secretariat of the local chapter of the PR society has also had Habitat and the Committee for the Presidential Awards for close to five years now. While, Gina Din may have let go off Safaricom, the agency prides itself to sticking with Crown Berger, Association of Kenya Insurers, GM, MTN Business (formerly UUNET) for more than five years each. When it comes to prolonging relationships, Desiree Gomes - Executive Director, Gina Din Corporate Communications
says; “The key to having a long term relationship is of course building a personal relationship with the client. Getting to know his/her style in terms of talking, writing, thinking and outlook on life. Bonding with the client especially in other areas that are not related to work and just developing a good rapport.” Nevertheless, the reason why many PR relationships are increasingly fleeting isn’t hard to fathom. A marketing/Corporate Communications director's average tenure of office is just three years and agencies report how client procurement specialists are trying to negotiate more project-based work rather than give agencies retained status. A good example being Airtel Kenya who have managed to work on a project basis for the past one year despite the high competition in the sector. Another factor is the demise of long-term personal relationships. This could be ranging from the CEO and Agency Directors or even the owners of the two organisations that ensure an account stays put. Henry Ndirangu of Ogilvy PR warns agencies not to delude themselves into believing that just because they get on socially with clients, everything is all right. He tells the story of an agency chief who enjoyed a wine-fuelled Monday night with one of his longest-standing clients only to find the agency on the brink of losing the account shortly afterwards because it couldn't crack the creative brief. Choosing an agency has become a much more collaborative process involving a number of key stakeholders. In almost every case, managing directors and chief executives have to ratify any decisions their Marketing/Corporate Communications directors make. YoungPRKenya believes that, “for the business (client) to deliver, the agencies have to do the same so as avoid the hustle of the time-consuming exercise of recruiting another agency.” All the same, no matter how well you get on with a client, in the end it all boils down to how well you deliver the work.

1 comment:

Kind of Technology said...

Wow what a weblog i am so inspired here can you discuss here, i am back again again to your site as soon as possible and i have lot of collection for you just click here for more information.



Tech news