Biggest PR Firm Complaints

19 04 2011

In 30 years in the PR business – on both the client and the agency sides – I’ve always been fascinated by corporate clients’ complaints about their PR firms.  (I’m happy to say the complaints have not been about our firm, but about OTHER firms.)

In fact, we’ve often solicited this information from client-side colleagues who have worked with other PR firms, so that our agency team would know – and avoid – what behaviors bug clients the most.

Here are some of the most common client complaints about their firms:

1. The agency staff is arrogant, condescending and treats me like I’m an idiot.

2. The agency never comes up with new ideas or opportunities; they wait for me to do it.

3. The agency’s billing practices are a shambles … invoices are late, unpredictable and lacking in explanation.

4. The agency pushes my work off to junior people who don’t know or understand us or the market. I only see the senior people when there’s a meal involved and I’m paying the bill!

5. The agency is slow to respond … I’m always waiting to hear back from them.

6. The agency creates more problems than they solve – making my job more difficult rather than easier!

7. The agency fails to keep me informed of project progress. I have to ask.

8. The agency proposes ideas before doing their homework, wasting effort and billable time on things that are totally unfeasible.

9. The agency staff doesn’t make the effort to learn more about my organization, our customers, our challenges, our industry or our competitors.

10. The agency staff seems more concerned with generating billable hours than with delivering strategic counsel, solid tactical execution and real-world results.

11. The agency staff talks (usually about themselves, other clients or their self-proclaimed expertise) more than it listens.

12. The agency has a lackadaisical attitude about correcting errors or problems.

13. The agency works harder getting recognition for their own firm than for their clients.

Okay, client-side professionals, you’ve shared your complaints. Now, tell us what you like best about your PR firm…

Top 7 Unfriendable Offenses

6 04 2011

Guest post from Jessica Killenberg Muzik, VP – Account Services, Bianchi PR

What behaviors will get someone kicked out of your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or other social networks?

That’s the question we recently posed on our Facebook page( and a variety of LinkedIn Groups. The responses were enlightening and, in some cases, entertaining to read.

And some even had us scratching our heads and thinking: “Do people really do that?”

At any rate, we boiled the responses down to a top seven list of unfriendable offenses.

 Here’s what will get you jettisoned from their social media outlets, according to our colleagues,  along with a bit of their commentary:

  1. Too many games, invites and spam-like behavior – “All the spam posts – games, etc. – are blockable … but seriously makes me have a lot less respect for them when it seems that’s all they do for hours on end.
  2. Profanity and gratuitous attacks – “I would say profanity and any other highly emotional or angry words are not cool.”  
  3. Inappropriate photos – “It goes without saying that any type of illegal or fraudulent conduct or activity, including the appearance of such, should get someone kicked off.” 
  4. Over-zealous self or corporate promotion – “Promotion is not bad, but there should be a balancing act.” 
  5. Inane updates – “About which restaurant / bar / coffee shop you’re sitting in, with no counter balance of newsworthy comments in other updates.” 
  6. The “connections collector” who doesn’t engage in two-way conversation (or has ever even met you) – Especially for LinkedIn, many professionals prefer to maintain a network of people they actually know and can vouch for. “Every connection I have is someone who I can pick up the phone and call, because we actually know each other.”  
  7. Excessive article link posts – “I haven’t unfriended them yet, but I certainly overlooked their posts 75 percent of the time.”

Each social networking platform has its purpose, and each end-user has their own preferences. But for general direction, the next time you decide to post or comment, you may want to keep this list in mind.

After all, you don’t want to be considered “that guy” or “that lady” within your own social networks … or suffer the indignity of being “unfriended.”

What unfriendable offenses would you add to the list?


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 105 other followers