Is your client an idiot?

Perhaps they’re ignorant or misinformed, but it’s still up to PR pros to keep their clients happy.

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Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Probably. I don’t know if the cold is getting to people or what, but lately I’ve been hearing some horror stories from PR people about their clients. In every case I’ve analyzed, the PR person has been right and the client has been woefully wrong. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean anything. The PR person or firm has to make the client happy, not the other way around. Though corporate spending is beginning to return, the economic environment is such that most PR firms are going to have to grin and bear it, at least for now.

The PR firm/client relationship is an awkward one. The client relies on the PR firm to get its message out and the PR firm has to rely on the press to accomplish that. The pressure to perform is enormous, but the ability to quantify results is difficult. The client is, seemingly, never happy.

I’ll examine a recent case of client unhappiness that I’ve been informed of and let you know the advice I’ve offered to the PR people involved. As always, the names of the innocent – and guilty – will remain a mystery.

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