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7 things I hate about working on the PR client side, from Hacked Off Client

16th June 2014


I moved over from agency to client-side thinking that perhaps life would become a touch easier. Less stress I thought …shorter hours …a better pension.

Boy was I wrong.

Well, apart from the pension, that is definitely a perk. If I can stand it here long enough to build it up!

So for all you agency bods out there who think you have it tough, take it from me, it’s no picnic on the client side either.

Here’s why:

1. Range

When I was at an agency I worked for dozens of different clients across different industries. Some clients were dull, others were interesting - I could take the rough with the smooth. Now everything is dull and there is no escape!

2. Freelance opps

When I left the agency, one option would have been to go freelance. But now I have far fewer contacts and my skills are becoming specialised, so going freelance would be much tougher.

3. Training

As there aren‘t many of us in the PR function, no one else in the organisation really appreciates what our needs are, such as specific training in areas including social media and digital strategies.

4. Resources

I thought it was hard getting money out of clients when I was agency side. But getting a budget for PR campaigns is even tougher internally.

5. Appreciation

When the company makes more money, that’s great. What would be even greater would be if the managing director recognised how much us increasing the company’s profile has contributed to its profitability.

6. Competition

You might think that internal comms people don’t have to pitch for business. Not so. We still have to pitch for work against outside agencies, the problem is that we don’t have the “glamour” (i.e., the wining-and-dining budgets) to impress our company chiefs, so they are easily dazzled by agencies.

7. Red tape

Working for such a large organisation means that there are a lot more forms to fill in. From the appraisal process to timesheets, everything is much more complicated than it was in an agency.



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