Breaking up with a Client

– Team Nucleus PR

Agency – Client relationships are not forever. At some point, there is bound to be a crack here and there that can be repaired with some counselling or maybe a patch here and there. But then all of them come with an expiration date. These are akin to a breakup especially if you have invested your time and energy along with money into it. And they hurt as much. Some can be bitter, a few amicable, and some mutual.

While we would love for it to be from the last to the first, more often than not the tone is the reverse. And that is because you are dealing with people in the communication business on both sides and it is tough not to take it personally. However, after the emotions (stage one: grief and denial & stage two: anger) have had their fill, if we identify and understand the reasons then that is almost halfway up to healing from it. For acceptance to take place you need to understand why it happened. So here are the top five reasons we found in our experience that usually cover it:

  1. Ego mode | The People Battle: This is a bitter battle. When meetings and conversations always feel like you must be battle ready and leave you with a migraine. Not from the stress of the work but the stress of having to deal with the other side. When new people join on the brand team, it often happens that they want to implement a new process or activity. When both teams work together, they can come to an amicable resolve. When ego takes over…it is you vs them. That is exhausting and usually results in a very bitter break up.
  2. Disappointment Mode | Mismatched expectations: This is one of those passive aggressive revenge mode versions of a relationship. Over time this relationship gets toxic and neither one comes out of the association happy. We get into a meeting with trepidation, make promises to make it better and then leave from the table completely drained. Sounds familiar of a meeting that drains you completely. It is a slow build up that leaves many damaged associations in its wake. 
  3. Argument Mode | Non-alignment on vision: This one is a volatile love-hate relationship that when works is explosive. And when it doesn’t work consumes everyone in its wake. Messy affair. The people involved stop listening to each other and ignore their perspective completely to only win their way in the relationship. Every conversation is a mini battle that turns into an argument and one-upmanship.
  4. Ostrich mode | Coasting through: Parties that coast through without acknowledging the world around them is changing either. Might be great for the two people involved. Almost peaceful and blissful. Till a crisis hits and both wake up to the fact that the association does not work. The crisis puts an added stress forcing a split.
  5. Casual Mode| The fake love: This is a flippant one that doesn’t bother either any which ways and can be the most perfect one if you were looking at coasting through a client roster. However, the thrill of working in PR is to dig deep and create strong roots for a client that can be difficult if you never know whether you are going to be around the next week or month to make that happen. Not a very stressful break up unless one party is more invested than the other.

If you look at any of these scenarios closely then it all boils down to trust. The erosion of trust in any relationship can cause any of the above scenarios. However, if it is intact then both can work through it. This, unfortunately, does not happen as most often there are points to prove and things to do. The show must go on. So how can you repair this association or can you create a checklist that will help you understand the status of the relationship? Yes, there is. Stay tuned for our next blog on it.

About Nucleus PR

The 13-year old firm has clients across multiple verticals. With an already established presence in 4 major metros, they have successfully created a strong affiliate network across 88 towns across the country via a team of trusted professional experts. With its inclusion in the exclusive and prestigious worldwide collaborative network of PR firms – PRBI Boutiques International, it adds brilliant minds from over 40 agencies across 14 countries to their resource pool. As the first members from the Asian sub-continent, they represent the entire region in the prestigious international PR network. Their current portfolio includes entertainment, lifestyle, media, hospitality and corporate clients across MNCs, SMEs, and Startups.

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