Things a PR Firm Does Not Want To Hear
Clients who do not understand PR can be a practitioner’s worst nightmare. Often, these clients have unrealistic goals and/or expectations and expect us to grant their wish like some genie in a bottle. Unlike the immediate satisfaction depicted in Aladdin, PR goals and wishes take time. Far fetched executive ideals do not make our job any easier.
Speakerboxpr.com writer John Terrill explores this idea further in his article, 5 Scariest Things To Tell A PR Firm. In this article, Terrill addresses client’s misconception about the concept of “going viral”, media relations, their role on regulating the firms activities, how PR works and mimicking other company’s campaigns.
Indeed, all of these are scarier than a two-headed monster with a big appetite. At least a good meal will satisfy him. He is definitely more likely to be satisfied than a disgruntled client who does not understand the PR process.
First, clients have to understand that awareness does not equal adoption. Awareness aids adoption. Just because a certain campaign is launched and reaches many, does not mean they will adapt the suggested product or idea. A little quality PR is better than a lot of terrible PR.
Second, the client must know their place. It reasonable to check a PR firm’s every move in the beginning stages, but making the “inch-eye private eye” routine a habit tells the firm they can’t be trusted. Do they really expect PR practitioners to work effectively in such conditions?
Lastly, clients must understand one size does NOT fit all. Media outlets and campaigns that proved successful for one company may not go as well for another. In PR, the practitioner prepares media kits and campaigns suited to the client’s individual style, responsibilities and mission. Like an elephant in a tutu, some outlets do not fit certain companies.
All client misconceptions cannot be blamed on the client. Though it is challenging, it is the PR firm’s responsibility to educate their clients beforehand. PR practitioners need to give the client a realistic view of their abilities while they are pitching to them. Instead of fluffing the clients head, one should be honest about what they are capable of and the time it will take to reach company goals.