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Deadlines, Honesty, and Other Things re PR
By: Gerard E. Mayers
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Some time ago I blogged about some of the basics in our trade as PR flacks of which we all need to be reminded from time to time. In this blog, I would like to offer some additional thoughts in a similar vein. So, here goes:

Deadlines, usually on multiple levels, are a constant in our business; we need to always be able to do our absolute best to juggle them and keep them in some sort of order (if only amongst ourselves).

Being honest with ourselves, our abilities to represent our clients and, yes, even honest with our clients in advising them of what realistically is possible and what is not in terms of their PR concepts or campaigns. In a recent article appearing on the parent site of this blog, Laura Lauricella offered some great thoughts on how to avoid being seen as a ”Yes Man”. Although the focus of her piece spoke to AEs who work in pharma, her thoughts were spot on within the construct of being honest to ourselves and to our clientele. Most notably, she this neat tidbit: “Know your client's brand as well, if not better, than they do.” (Italics mine, and not in her original tip -- GEM)

This trait can go hand in hand with deadlines and, indeed, it is a great trait for PR flacks to have with respects to deadlines. But flexibility is a good thing to have when putting together campaigns and presentations to or for clients.

No ‘BS’
This can apply in a variety of ways. It surely should be a reminder that, when asked a question about something you are unsure of answering properly, the best approach is simply to state your lack of knowledge and offer to obtain the needed information and get back to the client with it. Being known as a “No ‘BS’er” can help enormously with client respect and confidence. It also can mean being able to provide honest answers and feedback even when against what the client expects. Additionally, this may help keep client campaign strategy on track.

Ultimately the success of a client campaign reflects back on the agency of record and on the AE assigned to that client. This should be a humbling realization that an AE can make or break a client and their agency.

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About the Author
Gerard E. "Gerry" Mayers writes about PR and other relevant topics for PR professionals. A former PR manager for Sensor Products, Inc. (currently based in Madison, NJ), he lives in Milford, NJ.
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