At 10.30pm last Saturday, as most people were thinking about going to bed, I donned my trainers and went to the airport to join more than 400 runners who were going to run three miles up and down the runway for charity.One of Liquid’s clients was sponsoring the event and I joined their corporate team. As I headed home at gone midnight, the client thanked me and said it was over and above the job description.
And that struck a chord because that’s exactly what a good consultancy should do. When we pitch to prospective clients, we tell them that the most effective way of working is for Liquid to become an extension of their own team. Trusted advisers who play an important role in the success of the business. We shouldn’t be at arm’s length otherwise we can’t do our job to the best of our ability.
I’m sure other consultancies will say the same but does that happen in reality? Now clearly professional capability, understanding of the brief, and a proposal, which meets the requirements, have to be the main drivers for any company appointing a communications consultancy. But in my 11 years of working agency-side, I would say a client’s gut feeling that they can work closely with us, that we share the same values and are honest, committed and decent people are more often than not what wins a pitch.
And going the extra mile is a big part of that and should be a real consideration for any company considering outsourcing any element of its communication needs. Will the consultancy be there for the “extra-curricular stuff”? When I look around Liquid’s three offices in Birmingham, Jersey and Guernsey, there are many examples of going the extra mile – 10k runs, staying at client events until the very end to help clear up, a 13 mile charity walk, attending award events, a colour run, late nights in the kitchen or at the laptop to meet a deadline and even donning decorated y-fronts for a fun run!
As a team, we really enjoy being there for our clients. We work hard to deliver results in the most effective and cost-effective way but above all, we are an extension of our clients’ teams and that’s something which sets us apart.