Be consultants first, executors second

How many times have you been asked (if you are a PRO) to sell in a story that is absolutely terrible? What does that do to your self confidence? What do your journalist contacts think about you afterwards?

Often the reason for doing this is because a client has told you what to sell in. They see their latest printer launch as the best thing since sliced bread and that it is something that everyone should know about.

The reality is, this printer launch is not the best thing since sliced bread and no one cares. So what do you do? Some agencies (and I have worked at these) would take that bad idea, pass it on to a junior and ask them to sell it in. The idea would bomb, you would get no coverage and then either go back to the client with your tail between your legs or put it out on a wire and hope for the best. This is wrong. Not only does it give juniors a bad impression of the industry (young talent that you should be nurturing rather than alienating) but also means that your client doesn’t get the results he or she wanted. No body wins.

PR agencies used to be called PR consultancies and I think this is telling. Many have lost the consultancy side of things and have become more executors of ideas fed to them by their clients.

I know there are agencies out there that take the lead on campaigns but others have become their clients’ puppets. Why is this? Why do some do as their clients tell them to and some challenge the client throughout a project? Is it simply the difference between a good and bad agency or is there something more? Your thoughts please…

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~ by Simon Bocko on December 8, 2008.

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