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Monday, November 29, 2010

The 10 Worst Things Your PR Agency Could Tell You

If you ever worked for a big public relations agency, my list of "The 10 Worst Things Your PR Agency Could Tell You" will look very familiar. 

Smaller agencies are guilty of some of the things on the list too.  But generally, smaller agencies and bigger agencies approach client service quite differently.  I've worked for both.  First a boutique tech agency with the mantra of "senior people doing hands on work."  I also worked for a very large global PR agency.

PR pros working at smaller agencies do so for lots of reasons.  It could be the lack of bureaucracy or the opportunity to be involved in more decision making that are the main attractions.  One of the reasons that keeps rising to the top, though, is they want to continue to do client work -- no matter how senior or experienced they may be.

At smaller agencies, where staffs are lean and mean, chances are the senior-most individuals at the firm are rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty.  At larger agencies, this is less frequently the case because there are so many P&L and administrative things to do.  I mean, who has time for client work?

That's my intro.  Here's the list:  
  1. We can't get any coverage for you if your customers won't speak to the media.
  2. We ran through your monthly budget in the first two weeks of the month, so we have to shut things down until the new month.
  3. We can't have the entire account team on our weekly call with you because your budget is too small.
  4. We just took on a competitor of yours as a new client, but don't worry as we have a separate team working on that account.
  5. We just took on a competitor of yours as a new client and since their budget is bigger than yours, we're forced to drop you as a client.
  6. We're increasing our hourly rates as of January 1.
  7. We understand that your business is soft, but your reduced budget is too small for us so we have to part ways.  
  8. We thought you said the press release was approved "as is."  That's why we sent it out.
  9. The lead person on your account is leaving the firm.
  10. We'll get it to you tomorrow, promise.

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