Choosing Your Clients Wisely

Public relations practitioners MUST have clients, our livelihood depends on them. But, not all clients are good clients.  You have to be very cautious about who you work with and what they represent. There is a difference between choosing a client that has a crisis and choosing a client that is a crisis. When contacted by potential clients, schedule a meeting, perhaps over lunch or breakfast.

Once you have set up the meeting, write out a Client Needs Analysis, (CNA). This document consists of a series of questions that will allow you to get to know the client better. Where are they in terms of their career? How can PR enhance and get them to where they want to be? What do they like to do? These are questions that are important. Often times, people are under the impression that PR will help them to generate instant gratification and publicity. It does NOT  work like that.

It takes time and patience to develop and execute a successful PR campaign. It is important that your potential client understands this. Bring the CNA with you to the initial meeting. Make sure that you have done your homework in regards to the client, their career and how they act. If you have heard horror stories from other publicists, you may not want to work with this person. No amount of money is worth your name, brand, integrity or dignity.

Be sure that the potential client knows that YOU DO NOT WORK FOR FREE AND YOUR FEES ARE NON-NEGOTIABLE. The client must have a budget in order to pay you for your services.  If they cannot pay your retainer, you can allow them to do a payment plan with you. Although, I would not recommend it.

Once people see that you are bending the rules, they tend to take complete advantage and this could lead to a huge loss of money, time and energy.  Most importantly, make sure the client is aware of the services you offer. You should know their expectations of you, and they should know what you expect from them as well.

Clients can be a joy or a pain to work with. Keep the lines of communication open. Be professional at all times. If you feel that there is an issue with your client, be sure to speak with him/her immediately. Know your worth and others will respect you for it!


PR Girl

Follow me on Twitter: LyNNPRMentality

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