Written by Deja Cromartie
A business trip can be an exciting time for you and your client, whether you are headed out for an on location photo shoot, editorial desk sides, or trade show. Of course, the logistics travel also can be a time of stress, especially when expectations and excitement is running high. But with some smart pre-planning, you can ensure a rewarding, successful trip for both of you. Consider the following when traveling with a client:
Agree on the purpose of the trip
It is critical to have a clear understanding of what your client would like to achieve from the business trip. Also discuss what you, as the publicist, sees as the biggest opportunities and goals of the trip. Make sure you are both on the same page about what does success will look like. Is it having a launch party that is full of influencers and media? Or is it sealing the deal on a key strategic partnership? Knowing how to evaluate success will help you to prioritize your efforts and ensure a happy client.
Create a travel checklist
Fashion PR moves quickly, and often times travel plans are made last-minute, so have a clear process in place at your agency before you start booking flights. Creating a travel checklist is a great way to iron out all details with your client. Consider clarifying the traveling party, the itinerary, relevant contact information for everyone that will be traveling with your client as well as hotel and transportation information. Agree on which tasks will be the responsibility of you or your team, and what components will be managed by your client or her team.
Knowing how to evaluate success will help you to prioritize your efforts and ensure a happy client.
Other things to consider before you take off: All required documents should be scanned prior to the trip. You’ll want to confirm any planned meetings or interviews. If an event is being planned for the trip, you should have everything in order in regards to the venue being booked, the set –up, grab bags, etc. prior to arriving.
Be well-dressed and prepped
Your wardrobe should match the nature of the trip. Is it formal or casual chic? Will business meetings take place or is there a launch party? Also consider what type of tasks you will be doing while on a trip with your client. Will you have to do a lot of walking or standing? Your attire should represent your brand, and your client. A pair of comfortable flats tucked into your laptop bag is never a bad idea.
Speaking of laptops, extra cell phone chargers, a portable projector and adaptor, and helpful travel apps downloaded to your phone will help ensure you never run out of juice or run into an avoidable tech problem. A handful of healthy snacks and water can also help mitigate a hangry situation!
Stay positive, no matter what
Murphy’s Law is definitely applicable to traveling with a client. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong! Anticipate any situations that could possibly go wrong during the trip, and have a few backup plans. No matter what happens, don’t let your client see you sweat or become overwhelmed. Your client is going to expect you to have all the answers and the ability to fix whatever has gone wrong. Even if circumstances are out of your control, be sympathetic and direct. Address the issues that your client is having and try your best to find a solution.
Have support in place
Depending on how far you are traveling with your client, you may have to outsource interns or other freelance publicists for your trip, especially if you are planning an event. What days will you need additional support and what tasks need to be assigned?
Traveling with a client can bring on a mixture of emotions, but if you have a strategy in place the chances of the trip running smoothly are higher. What are your top travel tips?
About Deja Cromartie
Deja is a solo-prenur on the road to becoming a Beauty PR maven. She is currently the founder of Deluxe Publicity and a campaign coordinator for a digital marketing company. Ever since she put a makeup brush to her face, young women have asked her for make-up consultations and recommendations on what products to use. When she found her calling in beauty public relations, she ensured her services were client centered. She has helped her clients sculpt their reputations by concealing brand blemishes and establishing solid marketing foundations.