Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Shifting Priorities

When a door closes pick another one to open!
Yesterday was a hectic day at the office. Really nothing earth shattering in that statement. That pretty much sums up every day at work for me. But yesterday was a little different than most as it left me scrambling to adjust my list of priorities for the foreseeable future. Every PR firm has clients come and go. It is the nature of the business and something that is to be expected. While I prefer the former, the latter can sometimes free up some much needed time to ramp up other projects for other clients.
However, I absolutely hate seeing a client go especially when the business/product is something unique that is certainly going to continue to be a huge success. While there seems to be specific reasons for every client departure they vary greatly from company to company. The only thing we can do is make sure that things are taken care of on our end so that if the company does move on we can look at the decision as something that is out of our control.

I have seen and heard all different kinds of ‘reasons’. Sometimes it is a shift into a new direction, sometimes is a personal connection/contact they have with another firm, sometimes it is a matter of style. It all comes down to the fact that while from the outside PR can seem like an industry that is impersonal and monotonous or, more precisely described to me, “a business of repetitive acts both in form and practice” that really doesn’t come close to what we really do. Some have even said that it is easy.

For those that have any experience in the industry know just how personal this business can be if you truly invest in your work. Most days it is a one on one discussion during which you get to know the person on the other end of the phone, table, or computer screen. At the same time you are trying to bring them along on the story you are trying to tell. If you believe in your clients, you enjoy talking to people, and you respect the publications you are reaching out to this can be a very personal process.

A certain amount of pride and appreciation is experienced with every placement not because your name is anywhere in the text (as a PR professional you don’t want your name anywhere near the text) but because you have done your job and got the story out into the world. You do it for the client. The same can be said when you produce content for a client and you craft the messaging in such a way that grabs someone’s interest while hitting all the points that need to be addressed.

I guess this is why the creative side of me enjoys this field as much as it does. While there are undoubtedly routines in my day (like any industry or occupation) there is a tremendous amount of creative freedom and personality that, when applied properly, can produce exceptional results. And it is because this is such a personal profession for me I hate the few times I have experienced when a client has left. But when that does happen, as it just has, it does allow me to share that passion with another company and gives me the excuse to get to know a completely new group of people. So I guess you could say that it is both a really good and really bad situation but I am going to do my best to focus on the positive.