Being hired to handle an organization’s public relations is like getting married. PR pros often court a client for some time before landing the deal. But once the client “puts a ring on it,” some PR pros find the honeymoon can be short lived.
Just about every one of my public relations colleagues has a horror story (or two) they can tell about “the client from hell.” It’s difficult to turn down business, but sometimes it can be the best decision you ever make. I have done it and I am pretty sure I sleep better at night because I have.
Rather than rush to the alter, it’s best to take steps to spot what could become a troublesome client ahead of time and take steps to mitigate any potential problems that might pop up.
Get to know the early warning signs.
Ask the potential client ahead of time about their expectations. Are they realistic? Do they expect you to be at their beck and call 24/7? Do they expect to have their story told on CNN in the first few weeks of your engagement? Also, it’s best to make it clear upfront what they should expect from your efforts. Never over promise.
Garton-Miller Media is a full-service, South Florida-based public relations firm. Founder Susan R. Miller has 30 years of experience as a writer, journalist and PR professional.