8 reasons PR firms get fired

Sometimes it’s not an agency’s fault when it gets dumped by a client. Sometimes it is. Often, both parties are to blame. These are sure signs of trouble.

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Still, a bad client experience can happen to the best firms despite their best intentions. Even so, those mistakes are not always the fault of the PR firm. On occasion some of the fault rests with the client, or, more often than not, with both parties.

Here are some reasons why things go amiss between well-intentioned PR firms and their clients:

Unrealistic expectations. Sometimes clients want to get into publications like the Wall Street Journal or TV news programs like the “Today” show. Only a very, very small number of companies can ever get into such big-name national news outlets. Failure to set realistic expectations at the start of an engagement will prime the pump of client disappointment.

Overpromising. Some PR firms may promise more than they can deliver. If you hear a lot of promises and guarantees that you will get tons of media placements, especially from a salesperson at the PR firm, then run in the other direction. Most PR professionals will do their best to set realistic expectations and make sure you understand that PR is about “earned media,” which is not something that can be guaranteed and is subject to the vagaries of a fast-changing news industry.

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