How to Run a PR Account Team

We all talk a good game, but can we all deliver on promises we made to clients?

From my almost three years in PR, here are ten tips on not just how to get the job done, but how to get the job done really well. 

  1. Know your client – sounds obvious, but how deeply do you know your client, the nuances of its business and the interests of its customers.  If you’ve just won an account this is particularly dangerous because you think you may know all you need to know.  You don’t
  2. Read more – again, this sounds really obvious, but people, managers included, need to read more.  Is someone else doing something similar?  Has there been a major news event that may affect/effect the plan?  Can you read too much?  I’d say no
  3. Be passionate about your client – we tell our clients all the time that consumers can tell if you’re not being authentic.  Well the media, your client and your team can tell if you’re not 100 per cent passionate and they’ll react to you accordingly
  4. Be exciting and if you can’t be exciting, be excitable – no one wants to got to a boring meeting.  If you’re passionate, you’ll inspire others, if your exciting (or excitable) people will connect with you and want to work for you
  5. Listen – yes you may be an Account Manager but that doesn’t mean that you know it all.  Listen to other people and don’t use your experience as a crutch to hit people over the head with
  6. Don’t micro-manage – chances are that the people below you think that they’re cleverer or more talented than you.  And I bet it’s really hard having someone looking over your shoulder that you think is less talented or clever than you.  Also, one team meeting a week is enough
  7. Earn their trust – I wouldn’t expect a client to trust me off the bat, I expect that I’d have to earn their trust.  The same goes for your team.  This isn’t the army, they don’t have to respect you (cheers for that one Dave)
  8. Never be too busy – you may think you’re too busy, but they’re doing the work so you don’t have to.  Imagine how busy you’d be if you had to do their work as well.  Reply to emails/phonecalls – it could save you all some time (see #5)
  9. Competition is good – build some unity, create a real team and then let’s see who’s king for a day
  10. Don’t be afraid to reach into your wallet – at the end of a project or particularly stressful month, go for some drinks.  Reward your team.  After all, it is YOUR team

Any other tips?  Jump into the conversation via the comments section!


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2 Responses to How to Run a PR Account Team

  1. Lisa Popplewell says:

    Ed Lee – I like what you’re doing here! Passion in PR is a little bit like passion in a relationship – you only get out what you put in! It’s somehow easy for clients to become complacent about what you are all achieving together – remind them (and yourself) and you’ll go to work a bit more excited each day.

  2. Ed Lee says:

    Great comment Pops – and exactly what I’d expect to see from you!

    For everyone else, Lisa is an old colleague from Golin Harris back in the UK and points 1,3,4 and 9 are all based on her. She was also my line manager, god bless her…


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