I’ve been called many things over the years but never “creepy” and never “bad at P.R.” Yet, these sophomoric personal and professional attacks were handwritten on a post-it note attached to a check I received this week from a dead beat client, forced by the local courts to finally pay our firm for services contracted for and successfully rendered many, many months ago. I won’t get into specifics other than to say a contract was signed and several prominent media placements were garnered in a very short period of time.
Unfortunately, lack of mutual respect and professionalism in the business world are all too common, in particular in such challenging economic times. By contrast, however, visionary companies and business owners address and approach such financial realities in a much more productive and pragmatic way. I attended this week’s Corp! “Entrepreneurs of Distinction” award breakfast and listened to several prominent business leaders provide perspectives on their approach, in good times and bad. Optimism, mutual respect, flexibility, a willingess to evolve and attention to client service were all key themes.
In the case of the aforementioned client, I have perhaps never spent more time attempting to provide an individual with appropriate counsel on the realities of media relations today (not to mention dealing with the dynamic that she had burned bridges, we discovered, with key media decision makers in the past who were unwilling to work with her again). In the end, anything short of the “Oprah” show, evidently, was not enough. Repeated, ignored attempts at working out payment plans were put forth with professionalism and yet, apparently, were considered an invasion of space.
And so it goes. Yet, despite the “attacks” I am proud of our organization and its adherence to our standards and values. We strive to do what’s right every day—whether faced with adversity or opportunity—for our clients, strategic partners and colleagues alike. It is a modus operandi for long-term success, in business and in life.