Have you ever looked at a restaurant menu and wished that, instead of having to pick one of the dishes listed, you could mix and match to suit your tastes? Say for instance they offer ‘ham and eggs’ or ‘steak and chips’, but what you really want is ‘egg and chips’.
And do you want to choose whether the yolk in your fried egg is runny or set, have a sauce served on the side rather than over the food, and say whether your steak is cooked rare, medium or well done?
Good restaurants will always adapt their food to meet the wishes of their customers, and as any experienced communicator will know, having the flexibility to meet the needs of your audience is crucial for success. That’s exactly how we see our relationship with our clients too.
External communications support can be delivered in different ways, and a good agency will discuss your needs with you before starting work to make sure they can fit around you. Some of the issues to consider before you sign anything include:
- Levels of input and autonomy – do you want to manage the project or have the agency run it for you? Will they edit your copy or do they insist on doing it themselves from scratch?
- Reporting – how often do you want the supplier to report in and how do you want them to do it? What format do you want the reports in (for example email, telephone calls or face-to-face meetings)?
- General monitoring – do you want to see the work as it progresses or just check the final version? (For example, when we edit documents, we’ll always track our changes so the client can see them if they wish, but we’re just as happy if they prefer to only see the finished product.)
- Dovetailing with your systems – can the agency deliver the product in the format you want? Can they work to your processes and plan around your existing systems?
- Fitting in with your existing team – will the agency work with your preferred external or in-house designer or printer, or do they insist on using their own?
- Skill set – do they have the experience and expertise in all the channels that make up your chosen communications mix (for example, are they up to date with social media)?
- Setting deadlines – the work schedule and deadlines should be set by you, the client. Can the agency provide assurances about their capacity to deliver within the timescale or might you face issues around delivery?
At the Effective English Company we do all we can to work in the ways that suit our clients best – there’s no ‘set menu’ when it comes to our services and we flex and adapt as needed.
So it’s up to you; how would you like your communications support delivered? Your communications; your egg, chips or steak; your choice.
To find out how we could help take care of your communications tasks contact us today.