Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Consistent Missed Opportunity

Public relations has its pros and cons. Very recently, I came across a problem that reared its ugly head once again. It's something I've feared for months. Many of us label them as the "Missed Opportunity". But what does one do when missed opportunities are taken to the next level? Hear me out...

As a publicist, what can you do when your client consistently fails to do their part? I'm not talking the usual not answering of emails, or messing up an interview question. I am talking the consistent negative feedback from people you are setting up with a client. As a successful publicist, I feel that I have to stand behind my client or I feel like I am wasting everyones time. So if I feel that I will be embarrassed or am gambling my relationships in any way, why and what gives me any motivation to stand behind you (besides the paycheck you were late in paying me again)?

As a client, try to consider what is going on. Even if you can't grasp your head around the actual PR process, just think about how you are looking when something goes wrong. Then think about how it not only is affecting you, but the other people who were involved in what it is you are messing up. (This paragraph is reminiscent of The Perfect Client article on but I'm more interested in what to do with these "bad clients" then stating what makes a client "good".)

Examples: Being a restaurant claiming they have the same happy hour each week and a writer comes to check it out and you don't deliver the specials. Or you are supposed to show up for a TV appearance and you don't for whatever reason but to add fuel to the fire, you don't call or try to remedy the situation at all. Would you ever want to work with you again? No.

From a professional standpoint, a client is a client. They are paying you for a service you are saying you can try to provide for them. (I say try because nothing is guaranteed in PR no matter what you may think.) I guess I'm more curious on a more emotional level, how do you deal with the disappointment and embarrassment these "bad clients" cause you?

1 comment:

allijag said...


That's super tough! I work in client relations, so I understand the balance of always trying to please difficult clients, while still remaining reputable yourself.

If possible (and I dont know if it is) - I'd sit down and read the client the riot act in terms of "do you understand the reputation this is giving you & how this is hurting your image?!" - and if they don't seem to care, you might want to consider suggesting to them "well then it seems that you don't need a publicist". YIKES!