Tips For Working With Clients Q&A 

by Sydney Tipton

I sat down with two members of the University of Georgia’s Talking Dog Agency to talk about how to navigate client work within public relations. I spoke with Sophie Difusco, the research and strategy specialist within Talking Dog and Sara Lawrence, the account executive for Talking Dog on their Amazon Music campaign. The agency members are also members of the Public Relations Student Society of America, Sarah being PRSSA’s Public Relations Director and Sophie being the Vice President of the society. Comments trimmed for length and clarity.

Talking Dog Agency’s members smile together.

Q: Do you have general tips for working with clients?

Sara: Having proper email etiquette is really important. At least when you’re working with a client that you’re not meeting in person. A lot of your communication is over your mail coordinating that. So it’s really important to be professional, even online, to show that you’re a good writer, all that. And I also think that maintaining consistent communication, even, like, over-communicating is important. Because it shows you’re proactive, but also just finding that happy medium. Reaching out enough shows you’re proactive, and sharing what you’re doing every week shows you’re doing work outside of those boundaries that you have.

Sophie: I would say, like, just in my internships, I feel like matching the client’s energy; like if it’s a very serious client then you just behave seriously, but if a client is laughing a lot and like, wants to be silly and wants to joke around you can do that. And also for all of your meetings, proving yourself. Like you show up and you look good and your atmosphere is responsible, like how you conduct yourself but also I think matching their energy just kind of helps the conversation.

Q: What are the differences  you’ve experienced in working with bigger organizations versus smaller organizations in internships? 

Sara: I’ve worked in two, kind of, smaller agencies. And I think communicating with the client is kind of lower stakes, in a sense where you still have to be professional but it’s more direct communication. There’s not as many hoops you have to jump through, per se. Whereas I worked at a really large media organization over the summer that wasn’t necessarily an agency but they kind of treated clients with different touchpoints and I didn’t get really direct access to that. There’s a lot more hoops and proofreading like that you had to jump through to get, like, one email out kind of slower. With companies that are smaller, you kind of get a more hands-on approach.

Sophie: Yeah, you get to  just have more experience talking to the client when it’s smaller. Or the leadership level in a smaller company. 

Q: Are there any remarks about Talking Dog you’d like to share? 

Sara: I can just say it’s been a cool experience getting to be a direct liaison for a client as a student and not be like, in an internship per se. I just think it’s been a really cool leadership position, to be creating a new campaign and communicating with the client when you’re a student. And then you’re working with student team members to do that.