What to do after losing a client’s favorite employee

It may seem like the end of the world at the time, but it’s really an opportunity to give other PR pros in your firm a chance to step up.

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It could also be a stellar opportunity to showcase to your client other outstanding staffers who have been living in Elvis’ shadow, new or enhanced service offerings, and big, fresh, creative program ideas.

Several years ago when I was working at a global PR agency, the rock-star account supervisor on an $80,000 per month tech B2B account announced her resignation. Shortly thereafter she headed off to Europe with her fiancé, who had just landed a financial services job overseas. (There was no hope of keeping her at the firm.)

This particular account supervisor not only was doing a superb job leading the day-to-day activities of a seven-person team and driving superior results, but she had become the confidante, pseudo-girlfriend, and “shrink” to the primary client contact. Their relationship was one of those “good problems to have” because as long as this rock star was engaged on the business, the business was rock solid.

At the same time, the client’s over-reliance on this account supervisor—and the fact that I let that develop—was a disaster waiting to happen. Happen it did. Not fun.

What I did wrong

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