When I was a kid, on occasion during school holidays, I used to go into my Dad's work. I have a distant memory of seeing on the wall those customer services posters proclaiming the "The customer is always right." At the time I thought that was unlikely, I now know that was utter nonsense.
Here’s a few ways that my clients have wound me up lately:
Being rude to a journalist. If you want a media outlet to say good things about you, be nice to them. My client recently slammed the phone down on me because he didn’t like the way the interview was going. Predictably he didn’t like the finished article either!
Failing to do their homework. And even if a client is perfectly pleasant to a journalist, the final piece of copy can still be crap if the client forgets to say anything interesting (despite careful media briefing, obviously).
Missing events. You go to hell and back to arrange a massive product launch and then the client “can’t make it because something more important has come up”.
Getting pissed. Just because a journalist plies you with alcohol at an event, you don’t have to drink it all. They want you to get drunk and say stupid things, don’t fall into their traps!
Copy by committee. You have paid me to write your press release for you. Don’t then pass it around your whole company for it to get scribbled over by people who love using jargon.
Endless rewrites. Some clients are too insecure, nothing is ever right. If we spend all our time rewriting everything, then nothing will ever appear in print.
Saying it’s urgent and then disappearing. I recently was asked to make sure I was on hand to deliver a ground-breaking press announcement. I got all my contacts ready and waited for the exclusives … but they never came. Client decided it wasn’t that important after all.
Not agreeing to a budget. You give us a new job that you ask us to start work on immediately. We supply a quote, but days, then weeks pass, and still no agreement on price.