The first several weeks after signing a new client are always my favorite. Why? Because this is where we lay the foundation of most, if not all, of our efforts moving forward. We come up with the processes as well as the goals to have a successful relationship. Most importantly, this is the time where we get to be creative in helping a company develop its main messages. We get to plan what we want to do with those messages and how they will work. We send test balloons to reporters; we research what are the most favorable key words for SEO; we lay down the groundwork for a communications platform.
During this time, however, as much as we play offense, we also play defense. While we're drafting messages and responses to FAQs, we're also discussing with our clients' other communications vendors: advertisers, marketers, social media gurus. At best, there are some smart people trying to figure out the most effective way to move forward; at worst, there are some smart people who bicker about whose service is more valuable. This invariably leads to the question: who controls the message?
Maybe even more direct: does the client control the message or does the communications vendor control the message?