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You Have To Kiss A Lot Of Frogs


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Once upon a time there was a girl who wanted to tell stories about as many people as possible to the world. Not nasty stories, but nice stories about happy events and good news.

Telling stories is the cornerstone of any good communications strategy but the world of business rarely resembles a fairy tale. I was reminded of this recently when I was interviewed by an undergraduate as part of her final dissertation for her PR degree.

Considering how things have changed over the twelve years I’ve been in business encouraged me to reflect on the trends in customer acquisition and, on closer examination of my experiences, it occurred to me that this was one area that had changed the most…and not for the better.

Initially, when I took my first tentative steps into the abyss of business, a simple process was employed to get new clients: contact potential people who need your services, meet up to discuss the details and agree a fee.

Since the back of the naughties, however, things have got complicated. A lot more complicated. Far too often, the acquisition process now incorporates numerous meetings, pitching against multiple other hopefuls, the provision of a complete strategy and a plethora of tactical ideas…all free of charge.

It also involves an awful lot of kissing. Now, some people may specialise in kissing donkeys, and sometimes to great effect, but I have total confidence in the experience and skills I offer and credit potential clients with the ability to recognise that.

The consequence of standing by my principles means that I have to kiss a hell of a lot of frogs in order find a princely client. Not necessarily the most pleasant of experiences but sometimes we actually do live happily ever after.

The end.

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2 Comments

  • I love the ‘plumber’ analogy, Mark, that’s a great approach. I also find that playing it by ear is often the best way – you just can’t beat the intuition that’s been honed over the years. It never fails 🙂

  • Totally relate to this Allison. I’ve started to realise that there is an element of control that can, and should, be exercised when it comes to PR services. Over the last 6-months More Fire PR has introduced the ‘plumber’ test to establish whether a request is reasonable or not. For example – would a plumber charge you after briefly twiddling a washer to stop a minor tap leak? If they’re nice, and looking for repeat custom, probably not. However, if you were suffering from a major flood and your boiler needed replacing, would they expect to be paid? You better believe it baby. We find it’s a similar principle with most comms work – need a friendly bit of advice over a cup of tea? No problem. Want a website re-written, or advice on the best new angle and tactics for to help deliver a major product launch? Thank you, our fees are as folllows…

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