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Social and public relations/marketing on the corporate side and agency side are both unique. Processes are different, approval works in different ways. On the corporate side, I presented my boss with a social marketing strategy and was approved quickly. On agency side, it went through the approval process, with edits and questions from the client.

The amount of time you work with a client will further cement trust and understanding of the brand. On the corporate side, you live and breathe one brand daily. On the agency side, you deal with a few at the time, depending on structure.

Prove that you know the brand
Ask for resources. Research as much as possible on industry, brand and it’s competitors.  What type of company are they? Call up their customer service and ask questions as a potential consumer. Due diligence will help you to be prepared and understand the information that is presented to you.

Build trust
By hiring an agency, they are putting their brand, their corporations, in your hands. It’s not something that is to be taken lightly.  Most will not trust you 100 percent at the start. Understand that the caution is necessary, and show that you have just as much passion for the brand as they do. Guess what? Consumers have that same passion too.

You don’t always get to know everything
Some clients will not tell their agency everything.  Others do, because they believe it will help their agency team. Internal politics and procedures aren’t always common knowledge for the agency on record.  Some might have a hard time trusting what they deem as outsiders.  Ask questions and know where the line is.

Collaborate together
It might seem like a no-brainer, but present the brand with a sound strategy and different options. Ask them what they think, not wait for an opinion. Build teamwork. Show how you understand the brand, and why the strategy will work. Know the products and regulations concerning the industry. By educating yourself, you’re engraining into the culture without being in their office on a daily basis.

How else does agency and corporate side differ? What would you add?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lauren Fernandez is a public relations and digital communications professional based in the Midwest. She is dedicated to providing clients with hybrid expertise and commitment to their brands. In her current role at Fleishman-Hillard, she works on the consumer team and digital/social media approach for the agency. Lauren has been recognized among PR Week's "Top Tweeters", as well as one of the '30 under 30' and 'Top 100 PR Professionals' on Twitter. Her blog, LAF, was named 'Best Up and Coming' in the 2009 PR Blog Awards. She is a regular contributor for MarketingProfs Daily Fix. She is also the co-founder of #u30pro, a Twitter ongoing conversation that focuses on working professionals and bridging the generation gap. The chat started in Aug. 2009, and has grown into a robust community with a weekly chat, digest, FB/LinkedIn groups and Brazen Careerist partnership. Lauren is a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan and graduate of the University of North Texas.