I hate to start on a negative but I can’t tell you the amount of times that a potential client tells me that they had a ‘bad experience’ with a PR agency.
Although it’s tempting to tell them that they would have a better experience working with us, I never do. It always gives me the insight that something broke down in the relationship, whether it was planning, expectations, perhaps the job was far bigger than the agency imagined it could be. Perhaps the agency was terrible. Perhaps the client was difficult. Probably the budget was out of sync with the scope of work.
There are a million reasons why a campaign might deviate and meander from what was originally agreed. No one said it would be easy, but the smart thing to do is react and change within the campaign restrictions
I had a bad experience with a builder
I tend to think of it in the same way that I would with a builder. I’ve had a bad experience with a builder. In fact I’ve had loads of bad experiences with plumbers, mechanics and electricians. This does not mean that I fundamentally do not believe that bricks hold up houses, or that I won’t get my tap fixed because I previously had a bad experience. Or that I’m not going to have electricity in the house because I got ripped off and overcharged by an electrician.
PR still works. Managing your reputation still has value, and is still crucial even though things might not have panned out as well as you would like.
“We got nothing back”, some clients say. But there will be a reason why and the smart thing to do is to work through and find the solution. There is no business, no product and no individual who cannot benefit from a strategic PR campaign.
So the next time a potential client tells you, woefully, that they’ve had a bad experience of PR – tell them that you’ve had a bad experience too yet on we go. Yes we can!
Ask the client, how can we make this work? Where exactly did it go wrong? What can we learn from this? How must any new campaign come to life in the light of what has gone before.
My name is Helen Trevorrow and I’ve worked in the public relations industry since 1997. Times flies. I can’t believe that so many years have passed and how much my industry has changed in that time.
We always had email (I’m not that old!) but there were certain sectors that preferred to receive new communication by fax, so you would spend hours faxing through press releases especially to some of the trade titles.
We could not foresee how dramatically the media landscape would change over the next decade. That new inventions in technology would have us communicate in completely new revolutionary ways.
All of the stuff changed. I love it that radio survived, and in such glorious terms. We were told that ‘new media’ would kill off radio and cinema but where there is quality both have remained integral media channels. Regional publishing really took the brunt of advertising bucks going online and a once prosperous industry reduced significantly. I love the way that social media channels have to use traditional news channels to illustrate stories as they break, and I don’t know about you, but my trust is swinging way back towards those traditional media brands for quality sourced stories and news reporting.
We saw the birth of reality TV as a kind of social experiment, and followed marketing budgets heading through those channels.
What has not changed is the core proposition of a solid communications strategy.
There are some basic truths in PR that must underpin any campaign.
There core values are the same. They haven’t changed and though its faster now, more beautifully designed and insta-friendly good communications need to obey the same basic principles.
Get in touch to find out what they are and how you can use them.