February 8, 2017

Being Authentic in Business: What Does it Mean?

By: Jaclyn Acree

Here at Olive, the word “authentic” is one that is used a lot. It’s one of our core values and I truly believe it is what sets us a part. Just the other day we were talking to a new client who we had only had two conversations with and they said they could already tell that we are different than other PR firms they had worked with in the past (in a good way, of course). While we actually hear that quite often, I think it still always surprises me because my initial thought is, “doesn’t everyone work like us?” I guess not…

Olive was my first job out of college and I’m still here four and a half years later, so while I can’t speak from experience, the stories I see in the news and the experiences some of my friends and family have shared leads me to believe that the business world could use a little more authenticity.

But what does it mean to be authentic in business? Here is how Olive does it:

  • We don’t change to pay the bills. We have a business model and core values for a reason—they are there to help guide us and make sure we stay on track. As new business opportunities roll in, we make sure we stick to our standards. We always take the time to listen and learn what the company is all about and if we feel like they aren’t a fit for us (for example, if they aren’t quite ready for PR or if they’re in an industry we don’t usually work with, etc.) or vice versa, we don’t accommodate simply to get a new paying client. We aren’t afraid to kindly let them know it’s not a fit and provide recommendations on the next steps they should take or introduce them to other agencies or freelance consultants. If we took all new business we would end up comprising, and that simply will not happen.
  • We don’t change to make the client happy. Some people may think, “isn’t the client always right?” Not here. I actually think this is something that our clients love most about us. We know that our clients chose to work with us because we are professionals and we know what we are talking about, so we have to make sure we put that knowledge to use, even if it’s different from what the client first suggests. We believe we have to stay in the driver’s seat in order to get the results we get. We don’t hold back and are appreciated for it.
  • We are always honest, transparent and reliable. These three words define authenticity to me. We operate on this level everyday not only with clients but also with media, vendors and with each other. I don’t know how many times I have gone to Jenn to ask her what I should do when I’m feeling stumped on how to handle a situation, and she responds with something like “just be honest” or “tell them exactly what the situation is.” This is always the best solution because beating around the bush and hiding things never works.

Are you an authentic business looking for an authentic PR agency? You can reach us at [email protected], or visit our website at www.olivecreativestrategies.com. We can’t wait to hear why you are different (in a good way)!

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