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The Balancing Act of Managing Multiple Clients

Christine Curtin

The Balancing Act of Managing Multiple ClientsEvery client deserves to be treated like a VIP, and throughout my time at Walker Sands I have learned how to stay on top of my game to effectively support each.

My team also recently added two new awesome clients to our plate, requiring me to take a step back and think about how I personally manage our unique, yet equally important clients. Here are a few tips I follow to make sure clients get the attention they need and deserve:

1. Work on each client a little bit every day

No client gets left behind, so I dedicate part of my day to all of my clients just to keep them fresh on my radar. This doesn’t mean spending two hours per day on each and neglecting time-sensitive issues, though. It can be as simple as a quick Google search to check out the latest trends in a client’s particular field or even sorting through that client’s email folder to make sure you didn’t overlook any tasks.

I find it really helpful to at least surf around a new client’s website a little bit each day, whether it’s reading executive bios, checking out their services or visiting linked social media sites. This keeps the client constantly on my mind. The ultimate goal is to engrain the client in my brain so it learns to automatically flag potential story ideas or opportunities.

2. Keep a “Cheat Sheet”

Cheat sheets during math exams were my saving grace in high school, and little did I know I’d still use them in my profession—only for clients instead of equations. My team keeps a folder with background information on each client, but I keep specific cheat sheets that aggregate the client’s key information, like a brief company description, thought leaders and relevant industry topics.

These cheat sheets not only serve as a refresher, but also help out in high-stress situations. Even if you’re familiar with your clients, it’s nice to have a document to briefly skim and help transition when something comes up for another client that needs immediate attention, which brings me to a crucial point:

3. Don’t switch gears blindly

It would be great to focus only on a specific client with no interruptions for a few hours, but come on, this is PR. In order to make sure I’m 100% focused on a client before starting any project, I like to (what I call) “get into the zone,” or take a few minutes to mentally shift between clients. For example, you can recite the clients’ elevator pitch, the key players in the project and what you need to accomplish to reach the ultimate goal.

I vowed to “get into the zone” before any task after I tried switching between clients too quickly a few weeks ago. While working on a pitch for “Client A,” a reporter responded about setting up a call with a thought leader from “Client B.” I quickly typed up a confirmation, but after I pressed send I realized I referred to the thought leader from “Client B” by the name of a thought leader from “Client A.” Face-palm.

PR professionals are known for their uncanny ability to multitask, but multitasking takes practice. How do you effectively manage your clients?