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The “Take-Away” and the “Ask”

As we prepare for a new administration in the White House, it’s time to get the 2017-2018 long term planning underway, and in the process, be very clear about what we will give and take from the table. This is true no matter your industry. I began my 2017 planning several months ago by convening a series of meetings to present new ideas, identify key target markets, and anticipate potential opportunities. 

Whether for strategic planning, client relationship management, or new partnership development, I am constantly reminded of how important it is to know what the “ask” and the “take-away” is before entering the room.  It has to be relevant and effective for growth.  

What do I mean by that?  We plan, prepare, and get ready for a meeting by knowing what is needed from the outset, so as not to waste anyone’s time. At least that’s what we do, and it also is what you should be doing if you want to go from mere words and discussions to concrete programs and campaigns.

Furthermore, being in the public relations industry for as long as I have, I know some of the traditional ways of interacting and engaging with clients are still valuable.  An agency shows its true cleverness when it knows and appreciates how to cross-pollinate traditional and new techniques. 

Staying abreast of the latest and greatest PR trends and tactics is a given, but one must continuously be on top to quickly assess if the next big thing is right for the client or agency. This is critical now as the change of the guard in politics starts to take shape, whether you agree with it or not.  

Too often we take the time to plan meeting after meeting without taking into consideration how to foresee what the outcome should be. As you think about your process, here are several things to keep in mind: 

1.    Plan your strategy and know what you need to get out of the interaction – the “ask.”
2.    Focus on the tactics that will make the most difference, particularly for new audiences. 
3.    Consider and anticipate the changes that might impact your “ask” and the “take-away.”

As PR pros, we still need to do the above and, at the same time, do it very well. The truth is, whether with the old guard or new guard, without planning, thoughtful thinking and expectations on outcomes, nothing gets accomplished.  We always say that “time is money,” but no income or even ROI will come from a shortage of confidence in your own ideas and what you know needs to be done.

Comunicad has been leading the conversation on Hispanic PR for more than 25 years.

By Gloria Rodríguez, President & CEO, Comunicad, LLC