Fabiana Meléndez
Public Relations, Social PR Secrets

89: Fabiana Meléndez on Diversity, Digital and Client Expectations

Does every publicist have the glam life of Samantha on Sex in the City? No, says Fabiana Meléndez along with every other publicist in the world. How to implement diversity marketing? What is holistic account management? How can you manage your clients’ expectations? Fabiana Meléndez has the answers. A successful publicist, she considers herself as part of the new school of PR, martinis included. Listen to this episode to learn more about Fabiana Meléndez’s unique insights into the ever-changing industry.

In this episode of the Social PR Secrets Podcast, host Lisa Buyer talks with expert publicist Fabiana Meléndez. When running accounts at the Austin-based boutique agency, she believes in a combination of PR and digital. She says that while some clients just sign for either one, she emphasizes the symbiotic relationship of both. Additionally, Fabiana Meléndez highlights the importance of diversity marketing and holistic account management. Listen to this episode to determine what those terms mean and why you should implement them in your work.

Holistic Account Management 101

One of Fabiana Meléndez’s constant goals is to achieve the perfect implementation of holistic account management. She explains that PR professionals are often focused on their external role, on making the clients happy. In turn, they often forget about the internal running of their agency. To her, if you make sure that you put the same amount of attention and bring the same energy internally as you do externally, everything will run smoothly. 

Here are Fabiana Meléndez’s top 3 tips for implementing holistic account management!

1. Communicate, communicate, communicate

While this might sound like silly advice, Fabiana Meléndez says that internal communication is hard to implement when there is so much going on. She advises you always double-check all your lines of communications to make sure no message is left unresponded. 

2. Smile

Bringing in a smile, even on the hardest days, allows you and your coworkers to be excited about the job. Fabiana Meléndez says, “Sometimes we get addicted to the stress. But take a step back, smile at yourself and others, and think about what you’re excited to accomplish.” We couldn’t have said it better!

3. Set boundaries

Make sure you set boundaries with clients. Fabiana Meléndez advises not to answer after hours or on the weekend, except for actual emergencies. She explains that if clients feel like it’s okay to call you late, they will do the same with your entire agency. 

Avoiding Diversity Marketing Mistakes

Since the Black Lives Matter protests started in June, companies have all wanted to promote how diverse they are. Fabiana Meléndez makes diversity one of her priorities. She is one of few Latin women in PR. She says that with so much national reckoning happening around race, it is crucial companies and agencies have different conversations. To her, the biggest issue is when a client doesn’t mean what they are posting. If a company has never focused on diversity internally, posting about it will sound hollow. 

Another big mistake businesses made was to start right away. As soon as they realized how vital BLM was, some clients wanted to launch new products focusing on diversity. According to Fabiana Meléndez, that doesn’t read as genuine. She says, “People are hesitant to reflect but are swift to act.” Instead, they should take a step back, look at their internal processes, see what they’ve done wrong in the past, and learn from it, grow from it. It’s all about holding your brand accountable. Fabiana also emphasizes the importance of diversity within agencies. To her, conviction and passion start within the agency.

The New School of PR

Fabiana Meléndez considers herself part of the new school of PR. For example, she manages her clients’ expectations differently. As all PR professionals know, clients usually come in asking to get into top publications. But Fabiana believes macromedia rules all. She says big publications have value, but blogs, smaller business magazines, and independent publishers cannot be overlooked. She is always frank with her clients. She doesn’t say no but explains that getting into a big publication might take some time. She then offers to work on smaller podcasts and digital platforms while she’s working on getting guest pieces into the New York Times or Business Insider.

When it comes to PR, Fabiana Meléndez says not to focus too much on your major. Some of the best publicists didn’t major in PR. She also advises to call people up for a ten-minute coffee meeting. This is a polarizing opinion, but she believes we should all make room for the next generation of publicists. Lastly, you should read the news. Not just traditional media but newsletters and podcasts as well. That will allow you to get acquainted with the changes happening in the industry and the media. 

Are news clips dead? Why is PR so misunderstood? What are the best social media platforms a publicist should use? Listen to this new episode of Social PR Secrets for an unfiltered conversation between two PR professionals. From tips to exclusive insights, Lisa and Fabiana Meléndez cover it all. 

“Why would a client listen to your counsel if you’re not implementing it within your agency?” – Fabiana Meléndez

Some topics discussed in this episode include:

  • PR agencies
  • Diversity marketing
  • SEO
  • News sources
  • Managing clients’ expectations
  • Macromedia
  • Holistic account management 

Contact Fabiana Meléndez: 

References and Links Mentioned