Don’t Be Ego…

So I’ve reached my boiling point with a client. Yup, so I have to take it to the blog for a second.

Recently, a client of mine, that will go unnamed, had an incredibly promising meeting with a major consumer publication whose name begins with an “F.” After the meeting the client was very excited about the potential of building this professional relationship, after all, that’s what PR is all about, building relationships, right?!

So a day goes by — we connect with the writer at this major consumer publication — and he’s so amped on what my client does. He proposes the idea of a feature story to appear on the publication’s website. “Great!” we say and take that news back to the client.

All of a sudden, he balks. “What do you mean an online piece? I won’t be in the print publication?” We gently explain, there’s no guarantee of being in both print and online (though in reality there is never a guarantee that a story will ever run to begin with) and urge him to consider this opportunity as a stepping stone to building a great relationship with said major consumer publication with tremendous market influence…

Three weeks have now passed since that initial meeting with the publication and the client refuses to budge. It’s amazing… and it all comes down to ego. Why would a company, who makes its profits in the online space, hold out to be in print? Simply to take that story, stick it in a frame, and hang it on his wall. Or better yet, knowing him, photocopy it and send it to all the people who once made fun of him. Call it a geek’s ultimate revenge, right? Frustrating.

Aside from frustration, it actually makes me laugh. Why you ask? Because all I can picture is me finally breaking down (in the near future) and screaming at my client, in my best Laurie Ann Gibson impression, “I don’t like ego. To be ego and to be jealous. These things are negative for a reason.”

Who’s Laurie Ann Gibson? Formerly the choreographer on Making the Band 3 (MTB 3), Puffy’s P.Diddy’s “reality” show where thousands of girls auditioned to …er…make the band … or make a girl pop group.

Not only did Laurie Ann make sure the group’s dance moves were tight, she also delivered the most random one-liners and inspirational speeches ever caught on tape. The “ego” lecture was one of my favorites. My friends and I would re-enact that scene over and over, but looking back now, Laurie Ann was totally right.

As she so eloquently put it “to be ego and to be jealous” are, in fact, negative things. I’m starting to realize my job isn’t necessarily relating information to the public, it’s about stroking the ego of these CEOs who need constant reassurance and attention. I’m over it.

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5 responses to “Don’t Be Ego…

  1. So right on! I can’t tell you how many times I have seen this. Keep trying, eventually these high-ego clients will get the message. Thanks for sharing your thoughts — David Strom, TechPRwarStories.com

  2. David-
    Thanks for your comment!… I’m trying to be optimistic, but he’s holding his ground. It’s a shame, it’s quite the publication to have your story told in. So be it! 🙂

  3. Hasn’t your client heard of click thrus? I’ve had clients who have had far more traction as a result of an online or blog hit than from any print publication.

    This guy sounds like he’s stuck in 1997.

  4. David P: Well, he makes his fortune off of click thrus — so yeah he’s heard of them — which only leaves the ego card.

  5. Who the hell reads print anymore? Online content is so much more popular now. I mean, that’s reason the writers are striking right now..for profits from online content.

    If he’s so into print, tell that jerk next time he needs to contact you, write a letter instead of emailing you.

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