Some times the best PR is to give back the check

I had a client sign up for a workshop and a coaching session. He took me up on my offer to have a discount if he signed up for both. The workshop went well–great overview of public relations, message development and ideas on public relations practices he could incorporate. Much of the course work helped him feel validated and gave him tools to share with his co-workers why investing some money and a lot of time into public relations and marketing efforts would be worth it. Frankly, if that’s the only thing you can get from a workshop it’s often worth the price. Some times validation is all we need.

When it came time for the coaching session on media and publicity, we spent an hour going through the media basics, we had handouts and key words to jar media ideas and all kinds of things. He was getting all the tips on placing media and using story ideas for website, social media, and client e-news. We ran out of time so we had an hour left.

When we met up for that last session, turns out what the client really needed was technical support for social media. Now I can train how to write for, how to maximize posts and use etiquette, how to guest post or comment on other bloggers/social media avenues. But what I can’t do is teach the basics of how to be an administrator, or change it when someone else starts one for you. Or how to use a different source for capturing email databases. And a whole host of other technical details. So I gave him back his check for the second half. And a reference for a really great instructor who could teach him all those details–and provide a nifty screen shot book to go with it.

Even though we’d invested an hour of time that was “pre-paid”, the right thing to do was to give him his check back and point him in the direction he needed. When he’s ready for that next step, we can try again. I think we have a great working relationship for the future.


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