by Paul MacKenzie-Cummins
I love PR, truly I do. For me it is the perfect combination of writing and the media, which perhaps explains why I am equally as proactive with our own PR as a business as we are for our clients. However, there is something that’s a huge irritant of mine – stupid questions that clients ask us when we’re pitching for their business.
So here goes – the 10 most irritating things that we as an agency have genuinely been asked by potential new clients approaching us to represent them.
#1 CLIENT: We’ve never done PR and our MD is sceptical about its value, can we do a free trial for a month and then decide after that if it’s right for us?
PR AGENCY: Sure, and in return we’d like to borrow that brand new A8 sat on the forecourt over there – y’know, the one with the super Bang & Olufsen sound system. Oh and if you can throw in a full tank of fuel as well, that would be just dandy.
#2 CLIENT: How many sales will PR deliver for us?
PR AGENCY: Bye, bye.
#3 CLIENT: Any news release or content piece has to be sent to the entire senior management team for their feedback and sign off, is that OK?
PR AGENCY: Err, no. It’s called ‘news’, by the time it gets back to us it will be ‘olds’.
#4 CLIENT: We’re seeing a few other agencies today, so we’re running to a pretty tight schedule, will half an hour be enough?
PR AGENCY: You know what, I think we’ll cut and run now, if that’s OK? You obviously don’t value your business as much as we hoped so you’re not likely to value what PR will do for you either. Best of luck.
#5 CLIENT: You’re much more expensive that the other agencies we have seen.
PR AGENCY: I should bloody well hope so – they’re not as good as us.
#6 CLIENT: We want to be seen as the market leader, can you do that?
PR AGENCY: No. Get off your arse and become the market leader – then we will make you seen for what you actually are.
#7 CLIENT: We have a limited budget now but we’re game-changers and really going places – work with us now, follow us on our journey and when things really take off you’ll benefit too.
PR AGENCY: Sounds great, but we’ll work to the budget you have available now, not to the budget you’d like to have when you’ve become the next behemoth in your space.
#8 CLIENT: We don’t see the value in social media.
PR AGENCY: Then you obviously don’t ‘get’ where your customers are hanging out.
#9 CLIENT: We need to get into the FT and all the major banking and finance media regularly, will you guarantee that?
PR AGENCY: Nope, but I can recommend a great advertising agency.
#10 CLIENT: We want to be just like Hays or Adecco.
PR AGENCY: What the hell for, surely you went into business to be different to what’s already out there? Save yourself a lot of time – contact Hays and Adecco and ask them if they’re recruiting.