Client Consultancy Partnership Charter

CCGroup’s Client Consultancy Partnership Charter has been built in partnership with our clients and to codify mutual expectations. It is not legally-binding (getting this through legal would be impossible!), but it outlines ten sets of commitments we make to each other that will underpin a successful, enjoyable working relationship.

In summary, the eleven commitments are:

  1. Working together: mutual respect; two-way working processes; expectation-setting; commitment to sharing information; inclusion, equality & diversity
  2. Setting scopes of work: setting & responding to clear briefs; budgeting responsibly
  3. Agreeing timescales: reasonable timelines; hitting deadlines
  4. Managing budgets: respecting time; handling changing demands; cancellation; responsibility & transparency
  5. Communicating frankly: clear & timely feedback & advice; participation in client satisfaction surveys
  6. Taking an integrated approach: constructive co-operation with other partners
  7. Raising business awareness: ensuring awareness of CCGroup’s brief; understanding your business; communicating the value of our work
  8. Building stakeholder relationships: providing access to key individuals; acting courteously at all times
  9. Continuous improvement: insight on organisational strategy; changes to the business; keeping up-to-date
  10. Evaluating success: measuring success; demonstrating outcomes
  11. Artificial Intelligence: using the technology responsibly, securely and ethically


1) Working together


Client Commitment

Although we are the client, and are purchasing services from CCGroup, we believe that working together in partnership can foster a rewarding and mutually-respectful relationship which will help both parties deliver their business goals.

We will consider CCGroup to be an extension of our team – a true partnership.

We will agree clear two-way working processes for key programme elements (e.g. sign-off; reporting; progress meetings; reviews) and stick to them.

We will ensure that mutually-agreed, clearly-articulated expectations are set and agreed at the start of the relationship and reviewed on at least an annual basis.

We appreciate that the quality of CCGroup’s output will be in direct correlation to the quality of our input so we will always aim to commit time for briefings and updates, including providing access to key company employees/partners at the appropriate time during the briefing process.

We will treat the individual members of CCGroup’s team with the same respect and integrity that we would show to our own employees. This includes avoiding all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination or victimisation, such as racist, sexist, sectarian or homophobic remarks; making derogatory comments about a person’s age or disability (also known as microaggressions).


CCGroup Commitment

Although we understand that the client is the purchaser of our services, we believe that working together in partnership can foster a rewarding and mutually-respectful relationship which will help both parties meet their business goals.

We will consider ourselves an extension of your team – a true partnership.

We will always aim to deliver consistently high results for the client, sharing learnings from across our wider business wherever relevant.

We appreciate the importance of working flexibly within the terms of our contract and aim to have systems and processes that meet the client’s current and potential needs.

We will aim to ensure continuity in our account team in order to build shared expertise and stable points of contact.

We will be cognisant of the priorities and culture of the client organisation so that our account team delivers seamlessly and without disruption.

We will commit time to understanding our clients’ brands, audiences and products so that we can recommend appropriate ideas.

We will facilitate access to the different skillsets across CCGroup and its networks to support specific campaigns and challenges as necessary.

We will treat the individual members of our clients’ teams with the same respect and integrity that we show to our own employees. This includes avoiding all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination or victimisation, such as racist, sexist, sectarian or homophobic remarks; making derogatory comments about a person’s age or disability (also known as microaggressions).


2) Setting the scope of work 


Client commitment

We will supply comprehensive written briefs with clear objectives and success criteria, which include broader business objectives and information on other marcomms activity, where this is available.
In the event that a written brief cannot be supplied we will set aside time to meet with CCGroup to discuss our goals and enable them to construct their own brief.

We will set budgets with clear parameters including provision for planning, execution, evaluation and contingencies.


CCGroup commitment

We will deliver timely responses to briefs based on best advice and insight (including a sound understanding of the client’s business), strategic thinking, experience and creative execution.

We will develop relevant (and, where appropriate, innovative) proposals with the potential to be executed through all appropriate communications channels.

We will always submit proposals which can be achieved within the client’s budget, although we may also offer additional options should further budget be available.


3) Agreeing timescales


Client Commitment

Whenever possible we will give CCGroup ‘reasonable’ timescales (i.e. ideally weeks not days) for responding to briefs, to enable them to interrogate the brief, conduct insight programmes as necessary, develop overall strategy and present accurately-costed programmes. We will be flexible on deadlines depending on other activity.


CCGroup Commitment

We will deliver material, on or before agreed deadlines, which is concise, accessible and accurate when submitting proposals or responding to briefs.

We will build in ample time for the client to respond ahead of the start of activity.

We will be open and honest if we believe that timescales cannot be met, or objectives are unreasonable.

We will provide timely support in the event of a crisis.


4) Managing budgets


Client Commitment

We appreciate that CCGroup’s time is a finite, measurable resource.

We accept that increases in demands on CCGroup over and above original briefs will need to be funded (or other activities reduced in proportion).

We appreciate that the late cancellation of planned-for projects can impact the consultancy’s ability to manage its resources.

We will attempt to avoid late cancellation, but where it is unavoidable we acknowledge that CCGroup should be recompensed for resources provided but not utilised.


CCGroup Commitment

We commit to spend our clients’ budgets as if they were our own.

We will clearly outline budgets: fees and direct costs, to the best of our abilities.

We acknowledge that client budgets are not infinitely elastic, and that we must work as closely as possible to the parameters set by the client.

We will be fully transparent in how we report back on budget spend and give early alerts of potential budget overspends to avoid delivering unpleasant surprises.


5) Communicating frankly


Client Commitment

We will give CCGroup clear, frank and timely feedback on pitch proposals, continuing campaign recommendations or other materials submitted for approval.

We will contribute openly, honestly and constructively to CCGroup’s twice yearly client satisfaction surveys and raise any concerns with our account lead as necessary at other times.

We will accept guidance and challenges from CCGroup on programme content, materials and imagery to ensure it is inclusive of the wider society in which we operate.


CCGroup Commitment

We will be prepared (if necessary) to challenge briefs and the client’s response to our proposals, with opinions based on sound insight, strategic thinking and honesty.

We will ensure that the client’s business objectives are paramount in everything we do.

We will provide guidance and challenge programme content, materials and imagery where it is not inclusive of the wider society in which our client operates.


6) Taking an integrated approach


Client Commitment

If a truly integrated response is required we will aim, where possible, to brief all agencies at the same time – and before plans have been finalised by the internal marketing team – thereby ensuring that consultancy input is gained from the outset, and that campaigns will then be truly integrated and channel neutral.

We will provide access to key people at the appropriate time during the briefing process, so that the quality of CCGroup’s response will be ask high as possible.


CCGroup Commitment

When truly integrated responses to briefs are required we will work as constructive and co-operative partners with the client’s other agencies to develop the brief and to deliver joined-up strategy and execution.


7) Raising business awareness


Client Commitment

We will ensure that awareness of CCGroup’s brief and progress extends across our business (senior management as well as the wider comms team). We will help educate our organisation’s relevant employees so that they understand how and when they are required and able to interface with CCGroup.


CCGroup Commitment

We will invest time in ensuring that the whole account team gains a deep understanding of the client’s business, its wider industry sector and key competitors.

We will always be cognisant of the client’s wider business objectives when developing PR plans.

We will help the client communicate the value of PR activity to an internal audience by ensuring that the business case for all activities is explained.


8) Building stakeholder relationships


Client Commitment

We will help CCGroup work effectively by making introductions to key internal and external stakeholders to the benefit of the business.


CCGroup Commitment

We will build a range of contacts within the client’s stakeholder group to help maximise the effectiveness of our work by widening our knowledge of the client’s business.

We recognise that in dealing with colleagues in your organisation we are ambassadors for the PR/marketing discipline and will act courteously and professionally at all times.


9) Continuous improvement


Client Commitment

We will ensure that CCGroup has as wide a perspective of our business as possible, by sharing insight and knowledge and facilitating strategy briefings led by senior management when appropriate.

We will ensure that CCGroup is informed promptly when things change within the business, especially when the change could have a material impact on communication objectives and outputs.


CCGroup Commitment

We will ensure that we keep fully abreast of business developments within the client and within the client’s wider market sector.

We will maintain a strategic focus on the future of the client’s business, whilst delivering on current activities.

We will ensure that the account team remains well trained and fully abreast of latest developments and techniques within the PR/communications industry.

We will always innovate and challenge convention in order to add value to our programmes.


10) Evaluating success


Client Commitment

We appreciate that meaningful evaluation of PR activity is essential, and that budget needs to be allocated to this.

We will be clear on success metrics and, where relevant, share the objectives that the team is driving towards to ensure we can show the contribution of PR.


CCGroup Commitment
Our focus will always be on maximising the value of the client’s investment in PR and delivering meaningful and measurable outcomes.

We will help our clients achieve their personal objectives where it is within our power.


11) Artificial Intelligence: using the technology responsibly, securely and ethically


Client Commitment

We will be open with our account team about our expectations and any concerns we have about their use of AI.

We will be clear when information provided to our account team is confidential and must be kept away from generative AI tools.

We will tell our account team when we don’t hold copyright in any materials we may provide to them.

Anything created by generative AI will be subject to rigorous checks before sharing with the account team, and we will inform them when AI has been used.

We will never ask for the generation of materials that spread misinformation or disinformation.


CCGroup Commitment

We may use generative AI tools when creating content like planning documents, activity reports, article or blog research or other creative concepts.  However, we will never use these tools for the exclusive origination of content.

All content will be reviewed and edited to ensure it meets expectations, both in terms of language, quality and style, as well as originality.

We will protect the confidentiality of client information by refraining from using generative AI tools to create confidential content, nor upload sensitive client information to assist with the creation of other content, without the client’s written permission.

Any customised GPTs created will not be freely available to all public ChatGPT users but be contained within a private CCGroup controlled domain. This includes the uploading of client templates and historical content intended to train/inform a GPT on templates, language, tone and style.

We will not use AI in a way that is likely to undermine the rights of individuals, such as regarding the use of their personal data.

Where needed, we will use proxy and anonymous company and personal details to maintain privacy. Additionally, we won’t use generative AI images as final creative for a client campaign without full disclosure/discussion with our client about the specific artwork produced and why the use of generative AI tools is appropriate.

We will not use generative AI to create or spread deepfakes, misinformation, or disinformation.

We recognise that there is a serious risk that the use of AI tools can further embed historic biases. We will counter this by being aware of biases incorporated in AI-generated prompts and output, using diverse perspectives within the agency to review prompts and content created by generative AI tools to ensure no bias is overlooked or shared externally.