And What if…the Client is Wrong?

Emperor's new clothesAll client service firms wrestle with the delicate balance of maintaining great client relationships and being responsible for producing great work so the relationship continues. But, if you do this long enough, you will run into a situation where those two things are at odds with each other. adidas superstar soldes One solution is to become another “yes” man, telling the emperor that he/she looks FANTASTIC in those new clothes, and summarily cashing the check. After all, as the sales adage goes “the customer is ALWAYS right,” right? When people look at organizations who are allowing their reputations to be flushed down the commode with each work spoken at a press conference (ahem, NFL), I often think the strategy room must be filled with “yes” people lacking a proverbial plunger….or the client is ignoring counsel. It’s a tough one. I mean, when you’re hired for your expertise and that expertise isn’t followed, yet you are still expected to deliver on the objectives, the immortal words of Steven Covey and something about a “Lose-Win” scenario leaps to mind. So as communicators, the trick here is to help the client see how their plan might not work and make going with yours their idea. After all, that is why you were hired and why you’re paid. adidas ultra boost First, as you can probably tell, I’m not a “yes” man. I feel it’s my duty not only to the client, but to my profession to always provide the very best counsel that I can. And I rarely care whose feelings get hurt. Maybe it’s because I’m a Taurus or maybe because I’m from Missouri the original “show-me” state and Midwesterners tend to tell it like it is. asics france But I like to think it’s because I care and it’s truly important to me to guide the client to the best decision or course of action and no offense out there, but it’s probably not the one coming from them. (see expertise part above). We need more of this. nike air max 2017 dames In my opinion, there are far too many “yes” men and women, afraid to counsel and allowing their counsel to go unnoticed and thus we have an abundance of awful branding and marketing decisions and work. PR is supposed to guide the organization to its greatest successes and it can’t do that if counselors are too timid to actually provide counsel. So here is my short list of what to do when the client is wrong and you know it. (you don’t have to clap your hands) Tell them. Right now. Do not finish your coffee, get off your butt and stand in front of them and stop the damn train. It is your job and no one else in the organization is going to do it. Make sure you go in with data to back up your recommendation. mu legend redzen online This is the part where we get to be scientists as well as artists so put on the lab coat and get your findings together Don’t make it personal. Again, this is your job. Officiel Christian Louboutin It’s not about being right or being smarter, it’s about guiding the organization to the best possible outcome. adidas femme soldes Providing counsel that challenges the client’s position doesn’t have to be a relationship or account killer. Some of the best leaders I know really respect and value PR’s contribution to the overall strategy and well-being of the organization.