My Biggest PR Mistake

February 25, 2008Comments Off on My Biggest PR Mistake

Back in my days as a young, wide-eyed, PR Account Executive I once made a pretty bad mistake with a pretty important client.

Our client was facing a lot of pressure from his board to be featured on TV. This pressure was naturally passed on to us, and I saw it as a great opportunity to prove myself with this new client of mine.

So I came up with a really decent, albeit slightly controversial angle, to get on television and pitched it to a few TV stations. I didn’t hear anything back for a few days. So, disappointed, I figured I might as well put it into a press release. I drafted it u p and sent the press release to the client for amends.

The client didn’t like it. They didn’t want to pursue this angle and take this approach. Which would have been fine, except the next day ITV (UK TV channel) decided they did like my pitch and followed it up. Only they didn’t contact me first, they went straight to our rather bewildered client.

All things considered, it didn’t do that much damage, and the relationship wasn’t ruined, but it easily could have been.

As a lesson, I put it down to ego. I wanted to contact the client with a message along the lines of “you wanted TV, I have TV”. Since then I’ve never pursued any angle without first checking with the client. Important lesson to learn I think, client over ego.

Anyone else feel like sharing their biggest PR mistake?

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