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Ask any public relations professional what the toughest aspect of the job is and a good number would say it's "managing the expectations of our clients." As a "young(ish) pro", I struggle with this daily, but I also am wondering if I may actually be struggling with my own expectations of making the client happy. I don't just want them to be satisfied with the results we generate, I want them to be thrilled.

What do you do when the reaction to a front page story or leading placement on the evening news broadcast is a simple thanks with no fanfare? I guess the answer is that we have to be confident that they're happy with those results - a lack of falling at your feet with gratitude probably means you've accomplished exactly what they expected of you, and what they're paying you for.

Have you ever struggled with managing the expectations of the client? Of yourself? Any seasoned pros out there have some solid advice for those us who still need a good hard pat on the back once in a while?

HMA Public Relations
HMA Public Relations
We’ve been creating in-depth, personally crafted campaigns to reach benchmarked milestones and goals since 1980. While the tools of our trade have evolved over the years, our strategies remain unwavering.

1 Comment

  1. Debra:

    You should be delighted that the client even says “Thanks.” Most don’t even do that. These days, manners have gone by the wayside. Many clients think their paycheck to you is thanks enough.

    While I can’t always control what clients do, I can control what I do – so I try to be sure to proactively thank everyone I can who helps me out (co-workers, clients, media even the security guard downstairs); ‘cuz I know that’s the way I would want to be treated. All the best, David Landis (LCI, San Francisco – PRGN member)

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