Golin Harris Founder Al Golin on Public Relations Agency Management Best Practices

Al Golin
Al Golin

In this exclusive interview with legendary public relations agency founder Al Golin — who passed away in 2017 at the age of 87 — talks about public relations agency management, promoting healthy client-agency relationships and the secrets of successful PR.


4:24 – Al Golin explains what public relations is.

5:35 – Golin on the difference between public relations and media relations, and how the fields have changed over the years: “…it's the era of the individual not the masses…and that's really because of the internet and because of all this new technology we're seeing.”

7:12 – Golin discusses makreting services that clients typically receive from a public relations firm.

7:52 – Golin talks about the different practice areas that comprise public relations consulting.

9:05 – Golin talks about the objectives of an internal communications staff versus an external communications staff.

10:33 – Golin on how his PR Firm goes about helping new clients.

12:51 – Golin discusses a client's responsibility in its relationship with a public relations consultancy.

14:49 – Golin on successful client-agency realtionships.

16:17 – Golin discusses whether a PR firm's deliverables are more important than the actual relationship with a client.

17:02 – Golin on how some government officials who do not deliver results remain in office.

18:17 – Golin talks about what to do if a client has unrealistic expectations of a PR consultant.

19:29 – Golin on whether client expectations of a PR agency are more or less realistic today.

20:47 – Golin on the significance of public relations and reputation management: “…trust really can make or break a brand. It's not just good will. This is a very tangible thing that can mean lots of sales or no sales.”  

21:44 – Golin offers his views on thought leadership in the public relations consulting trade.

25:14 – Golin explains how to create thought leadership for a client.

26:28 – Golin on helping clients write op-eds to gain exposure: “…getting exposure for the sake of exposure is the wrong thing. It [the subject of the op-ed] really should be something meaningful to that person and captures that person.”

28:05 – Golin talks about hiring the right public relations agency.

29:44 – Golin discusses public relations consulting rates at boutique, mid-size, and global public relations agencies.

31:03 – Golin talks about the hourly PR consulting rates at different size public relations agencies.

33:50 – Golin on whether clients receive more attention from senior-level staffers at boutique PR agencies versus large public relations firms.

36:25 – Golin talks about how GolinHarris shares the billing of a client over a global market.

37:52 – Golin shares what he thinks is the single most important thing to look for in a PR firm.

40:13 – Golin on how he maintains an optimistic perspective on PR consulting: “…you have to really enjoy what you do, and I still do…the best thing I like to do is work with clients…”

41:52 – Golin on the impact of technology on transparency: “We live in this transparent society now…I think companies and people got away with things in the good old days that they could never get away with today…”

43:24 – End.  

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