How to Handle Nightmarish PR Clients

How to Handle Nightmarish PR Clients

Every agency has one—the nightmare client.  And if you don’t have them now, viagra order trust me, ambulance you will experience this at some point in your agency life.  If you have worked in the public relations business long enough you will certainly have horror stories of clients with bad habits and unrealistic campaign requests.

Yes, order I have fired clients in the past—and it’s not something that I relish having to do.  But sometimes when you’ve taken enough Valium and pulled your hair out by the roots, it’s time to cut the cord and let them go. But not every horrible situation has to go that far.  Sometimes all you need is a little time and a lot of patience.

From my experience, here are five nightmarish client personalities—along with gracious solutions for dealing with them.

  1. The pedantic, passive aggressive. This one can be a real doozy.  They want to take forever to brief you on the business– taking days and sometimes weeks –causing major start-up delays on your part that may ultimately hinder results.  There will be major rewrites on the press background materials and the press kit sits not only in the client’s office, but often in “legal” for weeks.  Once I had a press kit sit in legal for nine months—yes, I could have had a baby in the time it took to approve the press kit.

In this case you’ve got to get to the decision-maker(s) and explain that time is money and offer to have a sit-down to get things moving.

  1. The frugal. This is the PR client who has already negotiated the budget down to the bare basics yet remembers all the goodies that the original proposal promised—and wants them included—for free.

In my experience, no client likes to hear the word “no,” but you’ve got to be firm.  Try negotiating an hourly fee for additional program elements.  Don’t let them get away with trying for freebies.

  1. The absentee. Sometimes worse than the client who hovers over your head, the absentee client is a danger. I once had a pharmaceutical company launch its product without us!  Yes, they actually forgot that they hired a PR agency—you can’t make this up.

In this case reach out to the client’s assistant, even if it is a secretary, and make your situation and needs known.  S/he can often be a lifesaver.

  1. The ignorant. This person’s lack of knowledge will not only hinder the implementation of your PR program but can hamper your results.  Though they may be a great business person when it comes to communications, it’s just not their expertise.

Manage this type of relationship by setting expectations and goals.  Let the person see some of your previous experience and results with similar clients so that he can be reassured that you know your stuff.  Assure this person that your job is to help him look good—that’s often worked for me.  So, with all due respect, please get out of my way and let me do my job.

  1. The hothead. The hothead often shows their stripes at a meeting when they are feeling uncomfortable and unprepared in front of their peers.

Take the time to email briefing documents in advance and review them prior to the meeting.  If this behavior continues, or they becomes abusive to you or your staff, well you need a one-on-one meeting in which you lay down the law, gently, but firmly.

9 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a PR Agency

9 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a PR Agency

A successful PR campaign can help grow your business and gain awareness of your company. When considering a PR agency to hire, drug  here are nine questions you should ask an agency to make sure they are the right fit for you.

 

 

  1. Have you worked on campaigns in my industry?

You will get the most out of an agency if they have experience with your sector of business. You can ask for references from previous clients, seek and to see results from past campaigns. This can give you an idea of their industry capabilities.

 

  1. Who is my direct contact/team members?

You should know who you will be directly working with on your campaign. Ask who your contact person at the agency will be and who will be working with them. It is important to know your team and be comfortable with them so they know what you want and what you expect from them.

 

  1. Which media outlets are best for me?

It is important for PR agencies to know who their client’s target audience is, viagra and for an agency to have experience in traditional and new media. The agency you select knows the outlets that will reach your audience the best. This can range from traditional media placements, such as television and newspapers, to online promotions, such as social media outlets.

 

  1. How will your agency measure success?

Before hiring a PR agency, it is important to know how they measure success. The most common ways that agencies measure success with a client is through media placements, and social media analytics. Examples of social media analytics are page “likes”, content reach, and follower interactivity. Another thing to consider when choosing how a firm will measure success is an increase in traffic to your website or increase in sales after a PR campaign.

 

  1. Will you provide media coaching?

See what is being offered in terms of media coaching or training; this can be a valuable lesson to anyone who will be interviewed by the media. If the agency doesn’t handle media coaching directly, ask if they refer you to for an experienced media coach.

 

  1. Are you experienced on social media?

Social media is an important tool to reach many of your stakeholders. It is essential that you find an agency that is well versed in social media, and the social media trends. You can ask to see results from social media campaigns or promotions from previous clients to see if the agency has success promoting a company in your field.

 

  1. How will you communicate with me?

It is important that your PR agency communicates with you on a regular basis. Usually agencies will send a monthly status report detailing what they have done and where they have placed your business. However, it is still important for them to touch base with you on a regular basis in order to maintain a pulse on your campaign. You can ask how often you will be updated on campaigns for your company, and how often the staff will be available to you. You should also make yourself available to your PR agency, in case they need a quote or approval in a pinch.

 

  1. What type of contractual arrangement do you provide?

Most New York-based public relations agencies require a minimum contractual arrangement, such as six months, or, in the case of a specific project, time will be allocated against the project.

 

  1. What type of financial arrangements?

Most agencies work on a monthly retainer basis with time worked against the hours of the retainer.

5 Qualities of a Good PR Client

5 Qualities of a Good PR Client

A bad public relations agency client is like a really bad meal—miserable but not life-threatening.

Still, viagra buy it’s good to avoid them as much as possible.  And the best way to do that is to know what qualities to look for in a good client/agency relationship. So I present these qualities for your review:

  1. Good clients have a realistic budget. Unless the new client has had a former relationship with a public relations agency, cialis he is likely to be clueless about the cost of a public relations program.  But, hopefully, a good client will realize that he has to spend money in order to make it.  So, it is your job to help educate him as to how you work: What is your monthly retainer? How much do you allocate to fees vs. expenses? What is the average length of your contractual arrangement? Good clients take the time to be educated.
  2. Good clients are interested in working with someone they can trust.   When a client trusts you as a communicator they take your opinion seriously, especially if your opinion is contrary to theirs. No client likes to hear the word “no”.  But, after all, they have put their business in your hands and are depending on you to be the monitor of their brand image.
  3. Good clients are willing to accept advice. A good client is eager for advice, that’s why they hired a public relations agency to begin with.  They allow you to become a part of their marketing team—working with them and not necessarily for them.  I have had the good fortune of working with a number of good clients who have even sought my advice on matters from my opinion on their advertising campaigns to how they should appropriately congratulate their boss on his promotion.
  4. Good clients have a single point of contact. You’re on a deadline and you need that quick approval—who do you call—the client contact.  You don’t want to have to deal with several point people, when one will make your life so much more effective. Make certain that you get that point person, and then go on to earn their trust—they’ll be your client for life.
  5. Good clients participate in the process.  Now that you’ve got that point person, you want to make sure they remain involved and engaged in your public relations program– but not too much. An uninformed client is not a good client.  Assure them that part of your job is to make their job easier, and that you value their opinion.  A good client will review your monthly status reports and not merely file them—and if possible, you’ll develop monthly review meetings so that you keep the client informed.  An informed client is an advocate for your agency.