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Client Controversy… Keeping Your Cool with a Difficult Client


The business of public relations is quite challenging, but that is why so many of us are attracted to it.  From building relationships with media to building the brand of a client, there are often unforeseen obstacles that undeniably keep us on our toes and keep us motivated.  Day to day challenges are expected as well as a difficult client or two (or three or four), but learning how to deal with this type of challenge often takes a different skill set…

So what do you do when you see that a client has the potential to be difficult?  My advice- Nip that in the bud immediately!  Although you may feel that it’s not your job to essentially train your clients to be better clients, it is often a huge aspect of their personal and professional development… which we all know plays a huge part in the growth of their brand.  Not that you shouldn’t reserve the right to absolutely FIRE a ridiculous client, but those who need just a little cracking of the whip are often the ones who you witness grow along with their brand and ultimately develop great professional rapport.  I digress.

However, we all have had a client or two, who has no business acumen at all, is always late, procrastinates, or just complains too much; and the best way to deal with them is to keep your cool and give them a little coaching.  I believe in always approaching these issues head-on and making the client aware that in order for you to do your best they need to let you do your job!  If that means they need to be more punctual, open minded, or whatever the case may be – You need to communicate to them that for you to grow their brand and get them the exposure they desire, they have to make some adjustments!  Also, it’s often helpful to explain to them how the same issues that are hindering you from handling their PR probably contribute to other issues in their professional and personal relationships.

If you have done all the coaching you’re willing to do with no progress, then you may need to consider firing that client… There are plenty of well deserving clients out there who need your services.  I’ll write about just how to go about doing that in a future blog. So don’t fire any clients just yet.

Until next time….


The PR Doll