Do you have a project you want to discuss with BUMP? We’re always interested to hear about it.



How can we build TRULY healthy and sustainable retained relationships?

Retainers can go badly for a plethora of reasons – whether that’s a mismatch of expectations, overpromises or the failure to be real about what the agency or client is able to actually do together – and as a result, it can lead to unhelpful conversations that leave everyone frustrated.

In healthy agency-client relationships, accountability for success is shared.

I’m not impressed.”

I’m not convinced.” 

We pay you a lot of money to get this right.”

These are the words of a client who has outsourced total accountability for success. They are also words an agency can expect to hear when their price is high and they’ve failed to set the right expectations for the collaboration from the get go.The reality is that you can’t fully outsource accountability for success. Sure, you can tell yourself you can, and even pay a bunch of money in the process, but you can’t. As with any desired outcome, the path to achieving success is a shared one. Various parties bring their skills, experience and vision, and they team up around a shared theory of success to cross the finish line. It’s humanity at its best (shoutout Yuval Noah Harari).

The good news is that if we’ve all got each other’s back, we can create great things.

The bad news is that if we accept anything less than 50/50 shared accountability, we can at best create mediocre things and at worst create awful things that crush spirits and take a significant toll on our mental health.

So, how can we make retainers work better for everyone involved?

The formula: provide value for money at a reasonable price point. And sell people ONLY what they actually need.

We spent a fair amount of time on trial and error on the retainer front and have ultimately landed on a formula that leans on equal partnership, trust and respect. And to top that off a price point that feels fair.

For between €5-6K per month, a client organisation gets:

  • a senior sparring partner for all things communication across the org
  • a senior executive profiling/thought leadership (often for LinkedIn) guide for the org’s leader (or senior staff)
  • a mentor for in-house communication talent
  • an expert third-party to help guide the board through communications options
  • event and experiential/spatial design (How do we build the agenda? What is the message? What does it actually look like – with various options sketched)
  • people-centric video production
  • graphic design (in the context of campaign activities)

Is this all unlimited? Yes and no – both sides proceed in trust to know how much is too much or too little. And we all know how the ebb and flow of a year works. Ultimately, what we’re doing here is joining teams in the best possible way. Both sides feel equally accountable for success.

To be completely honest, it’s not a way of working that’s suited to many clients for a variety of reasons, but when the fit is there, we can create comms magic together.

More on our two Ps and a T.

To make this all work in the best way, we’ve all got to be on the same page. When considering a new relationship both we and the client need to be very clear that the following are what we’re actually looking for and that both sides are willing to make good on their end of the bargain:

  • Partnership – we succeed together and if we pivot together to navigate obstacles, we can never fail.
  • Positivity – Good vibes all day, every day. There is much negativity in professional life we cannot control. But in this relationship, we can control it (who’s stopping us?) and we will check negativity at the door.
  • Trust – Every book ever written on relationships says this is at the core of the good ones. We show each other every day that we appreciate the trust given and work to earn it.

What is the client profile best served at Bump?

We work with trade associations, companies and NGOs and those who seem to thrive with us seem to share a few comment characteristics,  we’ve covered that at length right here

Looking to co-create something awesome?

Good news. So are we.