There are two kinds of PR people: Implementers and Instigators.
Implementers don’t go gently into the new. They practice a policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — if the client’s don’t ask, then there’s no need to tell.
The problem is, once the client’s do ask (and they all eventually do), the implementers are forced to play defense and catch up to their clients. By that time it’s often too late and the clients have gone elsewhere.
As one of my clients told me last year, “(The agency) is brought into meetings to provide expertise…what we need is insight, ideas and out of the box thinking that we wouldn’t have otherwise thought of.”
It blows me away, truly floors me to no end that professionals in any industry fail to embrace and adapt to change. If I need to have heart surgery, I want the doctor who has kept up with the latest advancements and techniques – not the guy who hasn’t opened a medical journal in two decades.
Instigators, however, make things happen. They tell clients what they need to know whether they ask or not. They read, they experiment, they are curious and they want to do something even if that means embarrassment or failure.
Instigators see a bigger picture, one with the customer at the center and not the “practice,” whether PR, marketing, public affairs or anything else. If you look at PR through a customer-centric lens, you will not only begin to see the world differently, but you will see your job differently, too. You will understand that your clients are not your clients – their customers are.
Don’t just implement. Embrace risk. Push yourselves, push your colleagues and be the instigators your clients need you to be.