The Truth About PR Agencies and Media Training

Every now and then public relations agencies get caught in a bind. An existing client calls in need of media training services. Sure, the agency lists it among its capabilities on its web site. But they don’t have anyone on staff who holds such specialized expertise. What is an agency to do to service this client?

The Client Perspective

Alternatively, you may be that client. What are you to do when you learn that your agency really doesn’t have a plan for media training services?

The elegant solution? Call an experienced communications training consultant into the picture. I’ve been brought into such situations many times. It’s a great deal for the client and the agency.

Here are some of the advantages for the client:

  • You get to work with a top-flight communications training professional, not a generalist who falsely claims expertise.
  • Your agency is more likely to go the extra mile for you with future endeavors if you call on it for this type of superior service.
  • It should save you some budget dollars since they don’t need to hire another full-time staffer (and pass the cost along to you).
  • You can foster an ongoing relationship with your training consultant. This will better aid your executives to become better communicators over the long run (note: Some agencies discourage this, preferring to keep all contact routed through them. This can be a clunky arrangement, so be sure you and your agency are on the same wavelength).

win-win

The Agency Perspective

What if you are on the agency side and need occasional media training services? Picture this. Your client calls asking for media training. Your web site indicates that you offer it. But, in reality, you have to scramble to find an expert you can trust to work with that high maintenance client. Securing a relationship with a communications training pro means:

  • An external consultant saves you from hiring an additional employee. You don’t have to pay extra salary or benefits. When you’re not using it, you’re not paying that person to waste his time on tasks better performed by a less experienced generalist.
  • Client referrals go both ways. I’ll keep eyes and ears open for clients that may be a good match for you, too.
  • You don’t need to scramble for a solution when your client calls, sending the entire office into a rolodex-scouring panic.
  • It gives you on-demand expertise you can use during peak times, and shut down when not needed.
  • I help with the professional development of the agencies I work with by offering lunch and learn sessions about such topics as messaging, dealing with Q&A, crisis communications, and more.
  • If you are a small and mid-size agency, you can enhance your capabilities by establishing ties with an external communications training expert.

The Elegant Solution

What will you do the next time you’re in need of media training services that your agency doesn’t routinely offer? The easiest answer is contact me via email or call (540) 955-0600.

 

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