"I think there's a lot of challenges with trying to make the agency world profitable," Trust Relations CEO and founder April White tells Doug Simon. "A lot of times I think what happens is it ends up being staffed by a lot of very young people that are not totally ready to be placed in the positions they're in, and the senior people kind of get pulled out from doing the work and to doing more biz dev related tasks and things like that."

She says that has led to "some struggles with just trying to be a profitable industry in general, which has led to some practices that don't always work for everyone."

One thing that White has done to keep costs in line is to "make a completely virtual agency. So, we cut out the overhead of a very expensive office space in New York City or Los Angeles, for example."

Another hurdle she says that agencies have to face are the communicaton problems that crop up on both the client and agency sides of the equation.

"I think that a lot of the communication issues really still come from not having the seniority or experience required to be able to inspire the confidence of the client," White tells Simon. However, she stresses that up and comers can be effective as well.

"If you're thrown into a situation where you feel a little bit over your head, it's an opportunity for you to spread your wings and grow. The really important thing is to dive into that industry, especially if it's a B2B tech thing or something really heady." She also notes the importance of mentorship. "If you can find somebody with expertise and seniority that you can befriend as a mentor, then you can always ask them."

She also says that comms pros need to resist the pressure to always come up with on-the-spot answers to problems. "If in doubt, there's nothing wrong with saying, you know, let's circle back. We're going to brainstorm this and come back to you with some recommendations."

As White makes obvious by the name of her agency, she sees trust as central to any successful PR srategy. "I think that the industry as a whole needs to basically reinvent the way that it's viewing public relations. You have to do what you say before you can say what you do, and you have to have those proof points."

She winds up by saying that "it's just really, really important that you work carefully with the client to make sure that you know what it is that their differentiators are and help them define those and give them substance. So anywhere where they can substantiate the claims they're making, it's easier for you to do the storytelling."

View all of the interviews in the “PR's Top Pros Talk” series. Subscribe to get notified when new episodes are available.

Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at [email protected]

D S Simon Media helps clients get their stories on television through satellite media tours and by producing and distributing content to the media. The company also produces live social media events.