Ready, Set, Onboard

August 16, 2017

Onboarding new clients is the honeymoon period of the new relationship. Both parties are excited but still figuring out what’s to come. Starting off on the right foot and being on the same page is crucial to set the tone for the agency-client relationship.

Having a process in place provides a strong foundation for your team and puts your client at ease.  Below are some easy steps to implement and personalize for onboarding.

Lay the foundation

First impressions are significant. Showing that the agency is organized and proactive early on builds a strong foundation for a trusted relationship. The tasks below are simple steps that should take place the day the contract is signed.

-Schedule an internal meeting to discuss first steps and ensure all team members understand account

-Share a ‘meet your team’ slide with client

-Setup an in-person kickoff meeting with client

-Establish a weekly or bi-weekly call with client and internally

-Continue to extensively research your new client so you can make targeted recommendations out of the gate


Align goals in kickoff meeting  

Goal alignments can come in many forms. It’s critical that the agency team leaves the first official meeting with well-defined answers to the questions listed below.

-How does PR support business goals in the first 6-months? Year?

-How can we best measure PR’s impact on these goals?

-Who is your targeted persona? Who is the decision-maker buying your product?

-What does success look like to you? (Monthly and quarterly)


Create a first month workback plan  

Showing that the team has internalized the first meeting with a ‘starter’ work back plan provides the client confidence that their PR team is efficient, smart and eager to hit the ground running. A work back plan can come in many forms, such as a shareable dashboard, an Excel spreadsheet or a pitch deck (this can also be a deck of ideas). It’s imperative to share this document within the first week and prior to your second meeting.



When an account successfully launches, both the client and agency team should feel confident and at ease. Every day we think about ways to make that first experience with media an impressionable one – the same applies with clients. Be buttoned up, be personable and follow the process to set the stage for a successful client relationship.

-Julia M

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