I never thought I would be in a position that I would actually turn down work, especially in this uncertain world we live in. A great friend and mentor of mind told me when I first set up my business ‘you can never have too much work’, another said they ‘wouldn’t have the guts to turn down work’. So have I been brave or stupid?
Just to be clear I am not so overrun with clients that I can’t spare another day or four to work on a special project or work with someone new on a retained basis. Certainly not! Major PR is doing well and I am delighted but there is ample room for more.
Having courted this particular client for a relatively short length of time, a recent meeting turned into an offer of a four-day project that could lead to something more in the future. I was excited at the prospect of working with this new client as they have lots to offer customers in their sector. Plus, they are relatively unknown, especially in their local area, and have done little PR in the past. Sounds like a PR dream I hear you cry!
However, as a former journalist I know instinctively what makes a news story and therefore I always need to provide a hook for journalists to peg their article. It’s my job to create stories and generate interest in a product or brand, this then results in column inches and eventually more sales for the client.
In this instance there was no real obvious news story and one of my two main objectives was to drive footfall to an event.
Obviously I strongly advocate that PR is a very important part of the marketing mix, however there is also a time and a place for traditional advertising with incentives and digital marketing to get the message out to a wider audience. Without these elements aligned I didn’t feel on this occasion PR alone would achieve the results for the client.
I pride myself on doing a great job for my clients. I am loathed to turn down four days paid work but I would rather do this than take the money and not satisfy my client and myself.
So the question is, have I been brave or stupid? I would be interested to hear your thoughts and experiences.
P.S: The client seemed pleased with my honesty and we plan to talk again about a second project for October.