Recently, a favorite CMO client of mine called in the middle of the afternoon during a busy day. She said, “Melissa, this is such a hard call for me. I’m so sad. I’m really going to miss working with all of you.” It was a client that had achieved the goal we had all set out to accomplish: an acquisition. The company that acquired her employer was a worldwide, extremely large organization that had just hired a PR firm a month earlier. We had no shot of staying on – at least in the near term. She knew it. We knew it. It was unfortunate for both of us.
As a short aside, this is a CMO who has been in the marketing industry for more than 25 years. She’s no amateur PR or marketing professional. She’s worked with dozens of firms, been happy with some, but disappointed with most.
The best thing I could have heard that day was, “Melissa, I knew from the day I sat down with Metis that it was a match. With Metis, you get no smoke and mirrors. What you do get is honest, candid and direct feedback, and also strategic guidance that sometimes you want to hear and sometimes is tough to hear, but you need to hear it. If we didn’t have that kind of true partner relationship, we wouldn’t be able to move marketing, or the business for that matter, forward to meet our goal.” That, on top of the speedy execution of getting shit done, is exactly what you see at Metis.
This is one example of the kind of feedback we get from clients. There are many others.
We pride ourselves on being direct, candid and to the point. Our startup and emerging companies don’t have time for BS, long-winded positioning emails or opportunities that never amount to anything.
In fact, the reason why I’m writing this is because this approach is, unfortunately, uncommon in the PR and marketing world. I’ve met many of my kind, and I have a lot of competitors who have become friends. But what is consistent in this industry are individuals trying to make clients happy even if it’s not going to help clients meet the goals they all set out to achieve. It has given some PR pros and marketers a bad rep, and it makes it even harder for us to enter relationships with companies that have been burned.
So, next time you’re a company thinking about hiring an agency – whether it be for branding, design, product development, PR, marketing…whatever - think about the team you actually need to achieve the results you’re looking for. The bright, shiny people who spout BS are probably not it.
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