Before I joined Look Left, I was a Look Left client, running the communications team at a tech startup. While I had the support of my marketing organization, only a handful of people in the company truly understood public relations (PR), let alone how to effectively integrate it with our broader marketing strategy. So I leaned on the Look Left team a lot. They became my sounding board for new stories, campaigns and angles, and unlike previous agencies I worked with, they were true thought partners. Over weekly calls and daily Slack messages, Look Left became more than an extension of my team — they became confidants and friends.
After becoming a Look Left team member, I knew that I wanted to create that same type of relationship with my clients. Here are a few tips my colleagues gave me to do just that.
Identify pressing pain points
Our clients have things they’re excited about, stressing over and need help with — just like us. And that’s where our focus should be. We always consider what we can take off their plates that will allow them to focus on the myriad projects they’re working on.
Our job as tech marketing and PR professionals isn’t just to get great pieces of media coverage, write content or advise on messaging. Sure, those are all important components of what we do, but our ultimate goal is a lot simpler than that — it’s to make clients as successful as they can be. By identifying their most pressing pain points, we’re better prepared to do whatever is necessary to help them succeed.
Client calls usually kick off with a few minutes of non-work chit-chat, which can be more valuable than we give it credit for. If we pay attention, it’s pretty easy to identify a client’s work stressors — quarterly reviews, new product rollouts, team changes. But often, it’s the stuff that happens outside of work hours that has the most significant impact on our lives.
When personal topics become a part of the conversation, we’re gifted the opportunity to develop a deeper relationship with the client. Beyond just lending an ear, we know that non-work challenges can impact their jobs, whether it’s a mental distraction or something that requires time away from work. If clients are comfortable enough to share, it’s our job to see how we can best support them. Taking on extra tasks or just giving them a safe space to vent goes a long way.
Adopt a plus-one mentality
Even if we can’t go the extra mile, we can always go a few additional yards. In our industry, staying within the scope of work is important, but there are little things we can do that make an outsized impact for clients.
Maybe it’s sending both a tracked and non-tracked version of a press release, adding hyperlinks to a piece of content to promote additional pages or corresponding directly with someone instead of having the client do it. These small actions can get the team to the finish line faster and save clients from constant context-switching.
Benefits of a strong PR relationship in tech marketing
At Look Left, our clients stay with us for a long time — many are entering their fifth year of engagement. And in the ever-evolving startup industry, clients often come back to us when they start new endeavors. We credit this to a few things: We truly understand tech marketing and PR, we deliver exceptional results and — most importantly — we are intentional about our client relationships.
If you want to work with a PR and content marketing agency that will go to bat for you on the best days (and the worst), reach out. We’re always excited to meet excellent humans who are bringing new technology to the world.