How to know when it’s time to fire a client

Cutting loose a client isn’t a decision to make lightly. Reputation and livelihoods may be at stake.

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I’ve blogged before about the need for public relations practitioners to stand up for themselves if they want to be taken seriously and to believe in their own value. I’ve written about the need to push back if they feel their expertise and advice are being overlooked, and to have the guts to “consider their positions” if this becomes an ongoing issue.

Recently I practiced what I preach. After many months of being frustrated by a client’s refusal to engage with us on anything other than an arm’s length basis, I “withdrew the services” of Due North after being told by the organization’s chairman that he just wasn’t interested in our advice and simply wanted us to do as we were instructed by him.

It strikes me that we in PR are sometimes our own worst enemies. Too frequently I see cases where a communication advisor obviously has acted against best practice and I just know that somewhere in the mix there is an executive higher up the food chain who has told that hapless individual: “I don’t care what you think. Just do it!”

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