As I returned from my first in-real-life client meeting recently, I realised how much I’d missed them. There’s nothing like that connection you get when meeting face-to-face.
The more natural flow of conversation and the ease at which you can go off-piste from the agenda, to better understand what’s going on in their worlds.
Their views, likes, dislikes, hopes and fears. It’s these moments that often serve the best nuggets of an idea that will inspire the media and ultimately the audience they want to engage.
Our clients are passionate about design and the impact it can have on the world. They live and breathe their work, so what better way to tap into their mindset than via a casual conversation that cracks the surface of a brilliant idea.
But it’s not just about the conversation.
Immersing ourselves in their work environment is key to understanding the culture that they breed. Attracting new talent is high on most of our clients’ agendas so being able to articulate what makes our client’s culture different is essential to engaging the right people.
And while we love to be briefed on our client’s latest work, sometimes it’s the lesser-known projects that we stumble upon while in their studio, that we identify as highly PR-worthy and can often be the most game-changing for their reputation.
What Covid has taught us is that we can do business with our clients over Zoom, Teams or any other platform very efficiently. In fact, these conversations are often better reserved for online platforms where conversations can be had quickly, easily and acted upon.
We’ve realised from client feedback that it’s the sessions where clients feel they have a forum to bounce around ideas with us that really make their day. It’s no surprise really given most of them are creatives and natural collaborators who feed off of each other and build upon their thoughts.
So ringfencing regular time to discuss an idea, theme or just let off some steam (with the objective we’re trying to achieve always front-of-mind) is a great way to provoke and shape the stories, that with our media knowledge and contacts, we believe will speak to the people they’re trying to engage.
The beauty of these sessions is that depending on our client’s needs, they can be held in person or online.
But most of all, nothing beats the chemistry that we have with our clients when we meet face-to-face. We’re regularly told that we’re regarded as an extension of their teams and that means a lot to us. And just as we would socialise with our work colleagues at Red Setter, we’d do exactly the same with our clients.
So as we hopefully remain ‘restriction-free’, our in-real-life meetups with clients will be more about immersing ourselves in their worlds and hosting social gatherings than anything. Something tells me that Brighton might be a bit of a pull for clients this summer too. Who wouldn’t want to head down to the beach in the sunshine for live music, drinks and fish and chips!?