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The Thrill of Being Terminated by a Client

We’ve just been terminated by a client.

This has not happended in over ten years.   I am thrilled.

Alan_go_cart_1They actually did us a favor and taught me a huge lesson.  The lesson here that I have learned (even after over twenty years of being in business) is that working with your PR firm is a partnership.

And part of that partnership is trusting your agency’s expertise and allowing the necessary time for plans to show real results.

There is no need to throw dirt by naming them.  You know who you are.  You are nice people, but impossible to work with and have unrealistic expectations.  And when you take forever to make decisions, send back revisions, or even respond to our email request in order to meet deadlines, you become your own worst enemy.

So in the for what it’s worth department, I have some advice for clients who work with professional service providers like us:

1.  If you hire us, let us do our work.  Creatively and execution wise.

2.  When we are on deadline with a publication or industry analyst, please respond to our requests on time.

3.   Let your professional service provider make a fair profit. 

4.   Expect us to be accountable, but you need to be accountable as well.

5.   When you start winning industry awards and accolades from the press and industry analysts, don’t shake your head wondering how this happened.

Good luck and best wishes,


Photo by (c) Aaron Weinkrantz, 2004 of his Dad (me) having fun on a go-cart in Florida.


  1. We’ve all been there. Simple fact: some clients don’t like professionalism. Don’t know what it is and they feel threatened. They take up too much management time.

  2. Shouldn’t we be responsible for educating the customer of a successful PR firm relationship? Perhaps we are our own worst enemy. Afterall, can you blame a company for having trust issues when the current PR industry profession is so poor?

  3. Congrats, Alan!
    Personally I prefer to FIRE bad clients (beat ’em to the punch), but, getting fired can be liberating, too.
    Bad clients are bad business: demoralizing to the staff. PR folks tend to work overly hard on the bad clients, too – so they are bad AND unprofitable (and we’re just rewarding bad behavior).
    I disagree with Lauren about the “current PR industry profession (being) so poor” though. Most PR people I meet are excellent – and also often hobbled by risk-averse clients.


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