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The First Date… Meeting with a client for the first time

As a second year public relations student it was time to have our first live client as part of the course. I have been part of Cygnet PR for little over a year now and have had my own personal clients I have dealt with previously, so meeting the client for the first time wasn’t too daunting. However, it definitely is still a daunting prospect for the ‘first date’ no matter how many times you have done it. I thought writing a blog post about what to expect, how to prepare, and things to consider would be helpful for anyone about to embark with a new client.

When finding out who your client is it is extremely important to research who they are. Ensure you know their background information, from when the organisation first began. By knowing who they are and what they do you will understand their business objectives before you even meet. With prior knowledge about who they are you will come into the meeting seeming professional and approachable. Research will be your best friend.

Once you have established who your client is by however means, it is time to make the first form of contact. Whether this be a face-to-face meeting, a phone call, or an email it is important to stay professional before the tone of the liaisons is set. In these first few forms of contact it is important to not only stay professional but also approachable and friendly. You don’t want to scare them off by acting corporate and unfriendly. Introduce yourself (and your team members) briefly by stating your name and maybe what you’re interested in/why you are part of Cygnet PR. Reiterate on what you set to find out/wanting to know what they are looking for. Obviously, how the first meeting goes will be different for every context and client. Just make sure you have prepared what you as a team are going to say and make sure you know what you want the outcome for the meeting to be.

Top Tips:

  1. Research, research, research!

  2. Friendly, professional, approachable

  3. Preparation, structure, outcomes

  4. First impressions count

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