In 1986, Claude-Olivier became a partner of Zurich-based Farner Public Relations and created their agency in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. In 1990, he founded Rochat & Partners. Besides a unique network of contacts, Claude-Olivier has strong experience in banking …
|"Agency independence means one very important thing – We focus exclusively on our clients."|
Peter V. Stanton
The independent firm’s only priority is its clients’ business requirements. It isn’t burdened with the demands of a parent firm to meet quarterly shareholder expectations. For the wholly-owned firms, there is an inherent conflict of interest between the expectations of shareholders and meeting client needs and expectations. While some might argue the two are interrelated because without successful client programs, agency business suffers. In fact, the conflict arises more subtly and far sooner. In the wholly-owned firm, when campaigns are structured and account teams assembled, higher budgets and younger, less experienced professionals are assigned to the work. This increases profitability and thereby shareholder returns. By comparison, the independent firm is able to assign senior professionals, continue to service the relationship even when the client budget ebbs, and maintain a long-term focus in the relationship rather than just a focus on contributions to the parent firm’s quarterly statements.
It’s good to be independent.
|“Never throw the proverbial spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks. Build the relationship first and pitch second.”|
It all begins with the dialogue. Start talking to your sources, journalists, and every so often, get in touch with a personal note just to say hello. Our approach to working with the media is, and always has been, to take the most relevant stories to the most appropriate reporters, and to maintain a dialogue, even in the absence of a pitch. We feel that’s how relationships are built and how we become meaningful resources for all writers and editors.
In today’s media environment, staff turnover is high and freelancers who work on multiple publications are breaking further into the landscape. That’s why these connections—starting and keeping them—can uncover opportunities not found on an editorial calendar. As reporters change new beats or organizations, these contacts hold true.
Provide a continuous flow of trusted and valuable resources, and perceptions will change from ‘salesman’ to partner. You’re building trust that frequently opens the door to opportunity. Build a partnership that sticks.