It’s always gratifying to see good people do good work and get results. Hats off to our client Keker & Van Nest and our friends at The Innocence Project, whose tireless efforts resulted last week in the release of Ronald Ross. Ross was misidentified by a witness and wrongfully convicted of premeditated attempted murder in 2006. He served nearly seven years of a 25-to-life sentence.
A corporate client in the process of a complex merger sends a frantic email. A top-tier media outlet’s website has posted an article that cites specific numbers related to the merger. Problem No. 1: The numbers are wrong. Problem No. 2: No such numbers have been made public. Problem No. 3: The merger partner, a public company, is highly irritated by the apparent disclosure and assumes someone has been talking to the press, while lawyers on all sides of the deal are concerned that an improper disclosure could represent a regulatory breach.
One of our more frustrating experiences occurs when we speak with potential clients and meet resistance because of their previous bad experiences with one of our competitors. It’s an open secret among professional marketers that PR agencies often engender feelings ranging from dislike to outright disdain. The criticisms are consistent and often legitimate. Recently, I met with a number of marketers in Washington DC, and heard the usual list of practices that make them wary of hiring a PR firm, most notably: bait-and-switches on accounts, junior account reps who don’t understand the law and gaps in communication between the agency and the client’s marketing team.