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CWC 9: Gini Dietrich and the business side of PR

Chip is joined by Gini Dietrich of Arment Dietrich and the Spin Sucks blog to talk about the business of public relations.

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In this episode of Chats with Chip, I am joined by Gini Dietrich of Arment Dietrich and the Spin Sucks blog to talk about the business of public relations.

We cover lots of ground, including the five reasons that Gini believes public relations firms fail to scale:

  • You Don’t Have a Business Plan
  • You Can’t Break Free from Client Work
  • Operating In Chaos
  • ‘Freakin’ Technology! Who Can Keep Up?
  • Not Understanding the Whole “Measurement” Thing

The following is a computer-generated transcript. Please listen to the audio to confirm accuracy.

You’re listening to Chats with Chip on the FIR Podcast Network.

Chip Griffin: Hi, this is Chip Griffin, and this is another episode of Chats with Chip, and my guest today is Gini Dietrich of Armand Dietrich and, of course, the Spin Sucks blog. Welcome, Gini.

Gini Dietrich: Thank you. I feel like Chats with Chip is so nice alliteration. I like it. Chats with Chip. We should write a children’s book using words that only start with C H.

Chip Griffin: I’m fairly certain that me writing a children’s book is not a good idea.

Gini Dietrich: Okay, I’ll do it and I’ll give you credit then. Sure, fine.

Chip Griffin: Okay. Yeah, I’m good with that. Yeah, people don’t tend to say, oh Chip. Yeah, he’s the kid person, you know.

Gini Dietrich: You don’t have to be a kid person to write a children’s book.

Chip Griffin: I suppose, I suppose, but you know, I officiate youth sports and people always make fun of me because they’re like, you like to see them cry, don’t you?

And there’s a small piece of me that does actually, you know.

Gini Dietrich: I think you also like to see the parents cry.

Chip Griffin: Oh, well, believe me, there are some parents I’d like to see more than cry. But anyway, yeah, we, we’ve digressed a little bit, but that’s okay. Let’s, the reason why I asked you to be on Gini was because you sent out this two part, email, to, to promote a program that, that you’re, marketing, but it, it really focused on a topic that is near and dear to my heart and something I’ve been ranting and raving about a lot more than usual lately, and that is the importance of.

PR people paying attention to the business side of PR. Yes. and in particular what you did was you came up with five reasons that PR firms don’t scale. And, let me just quickly run through them for our listeners so that they have this basis, and then we’ll take the conversation where it goes.

Sure. But, your five reasons were, one, you don’t have a business plan. Two, you can’t break free from client work. Three, you’re operating in chaos. Four. Freakin technology! Who can keep up? I love that one, that was, that was a good one. and then finally, something that’s also near and dear to my heart, not understanding the whole measurement thing with measurement in quotation marks.

So, I, I think you’re spot on on all five of these. Frankly, at least three of these have been Problems for me in various businesses that I’ve had, over the years. you know, probably, partly because at number three operating in chaos, you know, having multiple companies at once is probably not the world’s best idea, but it’s entertaining.

So I do it. but so, I mean, obviously you share my concern that PR folks are not paying enough attention to the business side. why is that? And what can we do about it?

Gini Dietrich: Yeah, it’s funny. We’re having this conversation right now because I just had a conversation with, An entrepreneur who, I sit on her board and we had our, our monthly, board meeting chat and she said, you know, she, her, her market is PR professionals.

And she said, I’m really struggling with why PR professionals as a whole, not all of them, but you know, as a whole aren’t getting the service that we provide. And I said, it’s because I think traditionally communications professionals. don’t have P& L responsibility, unless you work yourself up to, you know, one of five agency heads in a large agency, or you’re corporate, you’re chief of corporate communications inside an organization, you typically don’t have P& L responsibility.

And you certainly don’t run a business unless, you know, you’re someone like you or me who’ve gone out on their own. but I think you, I would venture to guess, I don’t know, more than half of PR professionals never have had any business experience. We certainly don’t have business, education. We, we, one of my favorite questions to ask PR professionals when I speak is how many of you went into PR because you hate math and 99 percent of the room raises their hand.

you know, there’s, I think we’re missing that, the business acumen that you need just as a, as an industry. to really get it, and I think that’s part of the problem.

Chip Griffin: So if you don’t have business acumen, how do you get it?

Gini Dietrich: Well, there’s one way, and it’s to go build your own business, because you get it really fast!

Chip Griffin: Yeah, I have a friend of mine who went to, he got an MBA from Harvard, and I have often said to him that I got an MBA, but I got to make money while I was doing it, as opposed to just paying it to someone else. Or!

Gini Dietrich: You might have lost some money. I mean, I’ve certainly had an inexpensive education. I’ve made money and lost money, and it’s definitely been an inexpensive education.

Chip Griffin: yeah, no doubt about it. I mean, you know, when you have your own business, you make mistakes, and you find out very quickly that those mistakes you know, go right to the pocketbook. It’s not, you know, and look, and, and, and most of us, you know, very few people start out as an entrepreneur, which, which is, you know, when you’re out on your own with a PR agency, you are an entrepreneur.

And I think that’s part of the problem is that, that even once someone starts their own agency or as a solo PR, they don’t have in their mind that they’re an entrepreneur. They just think that they’re providing PR services. Because they love doing that, but you’re really, you’re starting a business. I mean, it’s no different than going out and, you know, opening up a subway franchise or, you know, a, a landscaping service or whatever it is that you’re doing, you’re starting a business business.

Gini Dietrich: Yeah. And yeah, I think that’s exactly right. Like you, your skill is PR, but, you have to do HR and you have to do financials and you have to do, you know, like you have to work with the bank and I mean, there’s so many that you have to do new business development, which AKA sells, which PR professionals shy away from.

I mean, you, you are literally having to do everything. And I say, I don’t think it’s the case for just PR professionals. I think every entrepreneur at some point has to learn different skills because they’re, they’re strong in one area and then they have to learn the others. But I think that’s the, the.

The irony of being an entrepreneur is you go out, you start a business to do what you love doing and you end up doing none of that anymore.

Chip Griffin: That is true. you know, so you started your list with not having a business plan and I, you know, I think I’ve always been an advocate of for all entrepreneurs that I talk to of the importance of having a business plan, not because it’s this great, you know, biblical document that you take out and adhere to religiously, but because of the process you go through to create it.

It requires you to think through, you know, your business, what you’re doing, who you’re targeting, you know, what are realistic revenue goals? What is it really going to cost you? And, you know, You’re going to get most of it wrong, and, and six months later, that plan will be, sort of, will have changed substantially.

Yeah. But nevertheless, it gives you something to work off of, and it’s gotten your thought process moving in the right direction.

Gini Dietrich: It gets your thought process moving in the right direction, and it also helps you think through, Why am I here? What’s my purpose? Because once you think through that, then you can communicate it to a team.

Assuming you have a team, or you want to build a team. Because if they don’t have a bigger purpose, to work every day, you’re not, your turnover is going to be high, and there’s not going to be really any reason for them to come to work. So I think it helps with that as well.

Chip Griffin: Well, and you’ve touched on something there with the team aspect, and it’s not one of the things that you explicitly mention here, in your, your top five reasons, but, you know, deciding, you know, when to have a team, in other words, going from one to two, because almost everybody starts with a single person PR agency.

Very few, you know, are fortunate enough to have the resources out of the gate to have a whole team. so at some point you have to decide to hire that first employee. And at some point you have to make decisions on when to expand your team. And just as importantly, when to contract it, which is, you know, in almost every agency that I’ve ever been affiliated with, including my own, has had to contract at one point or another.

Yep. It’s just the nature of a professional services business. You know, you, you, you grow to meet the need, but when the need isn’t there, you know, what are you going to do?

Gini Dietrich: Right. You do have to, to scale back. It’s the nature of any service business. I think, you know, consultants, accountants, lawyers, whatever happens to be.

but going same lines with the business plan. I will not call anybody out by name, but every client that I work with that owns a PR agency does not have a cash flow projection. Or no where their money’s going. And they’ll say things like, well, I have money in the bank. Okay. But it doesn’t quite count.

So, you know, that’s one of the things I really work with my clients on is, you know, let’s figure out how much money is coming in and how much money is going out to your point so that you can figure out when you can hire or when you need to contract, are you making money? What is your profit margin? Like those kinds of things.

Most PR professionals just look at you like you’re crazy when you ask.

Chip Griffin: Yeah, and, and look, they’re never easy decisions, right? Because anytime No, never. I mean, and I’ve always argued that your first employee is the hardest. Because, you know, at that point you are no longer responsible just for putting food on your own table, you’re taking some responsibility for someone else.

Yep. And, you know, so you’ve got sort of the psychological barrier. Obviously, there’s all sorts of paperwork that comes into play once you decide to actually hire an employee, which it’s amazing how many folks I’ve dealt with going from a one person to a two person company that they don’t realize all of the the paperwork that comes with that, as well as the restrictions, right?

Because a lot of us, if we have a one person business, you know, you can restructure your benefits so that it’s, you know, really bene you know, really beneficial, if you will, to you, from a tax perspective. But once you start adding employees, they have to get something similar. Right. And do you really want to do that?

Probably not. That probably, probably, probably not scalable. Really expensive, yeah. So, you know, they’re just, there’s all of these things to think about. And, you know, at the same time, you know, as you say, everybody’s always focusing on their client work. So they’re not thinking about these issues necessarily.


Gini Dietrich: Well, yeah, I mean, I, and I’m sure you’ve had the same experience. You’re, you’re stuck doing the work. And I, I guess stuck’s not right. The right word, because many of us like to do the work. And so you do the work, you do the work, you do the work. And all of a sudden you look up and you go. Oh my gosh, I just lost this client because they merged with another company and now 50 percent of my business is gone and I don’t have anything in the pipeline because I’ve been doing the work instead of working on, on new business.

you know, it’s that kind of stuff that is really detrimental and really could be the end of your business. if you, if you don’t pay attention to that kind of stuff,

Chip Griffin: Yeah, I think the, you know, one of the number one rules for consultants is that whenever you’re the busiest with client work is when you need to double down on your selling.

Yes. Because it’s, it’s when you’re most likely to lose sight of it. and so you need to A, capitalize on the momentum and B, mitigate against the risk when some of that business inevitably goes away, because it does. I mean, it does go away. Yes. You know, as you and I have talked about before, you know, you never have a client who’s with you for two decades or very rarely, you know, at some point.

Someone’s going to move on for whatever reason, business changes, client personnel changes, you just get sick of the work, whatever it is, things change.

Gini Dietrich: Yeah. Your business model may change. They may merge or, you know, get bought up or, you know, there’s lots of reasons that a client would go away.

Chip Griffin: Of course, if things are changing day in and day out.

That’s your chaos theory, right? You know, that, that, that, that’s where, you know, you, you need to have a little bit of certainty in the process of maybe a little bit of an organizational structure, even if you’re a solo, you know, so, so how do you, how do you overcome the, the, the chaotic nature of a professional services business, particularly when you have employees, right?

Because that’s, you know, that’s where chaos really can multiply quickly.

Gini Dietrich: It can multiply quickly. And I think part of the reason that you go out on your own, And you are not entrepreneurs because you thrive in chaos. But as it turns out, most people are not like that. They like to have a process. They like to have structure.

They like to be told, this is your box and this is what I want you to do. so you really have to think about those kinds of things. You know, for me, if I were told this is where this is These are the confines in which you need to work. It would make me crazy. But I learned the lesson really early on that I’m not the norm.

So even if you just create a process that says, and this goes back to your business plan as well, that tells a client, you know, this is how we work and this is what you can expect at the end, that also tells your team. This is how we work, and this is, these are the kinds of results we expect. And because of our experience doing this, we know that if you do A, B, and C, you’re going to get D.

So that’s really what I’m talking about is creating that structure or that, the system that allows your team to be successful. So that they can, you know, just like McDonald’s has a recipe for their special sauce, and, Southwest Airlines has a recipe for the way that they engage, their flight attendants engage with customers, there’s, you know, you have to have sort of your recipe that people can follow.

Chip Griffin: Well, yeah, and you need structure around your clients too, right? You know, because clients will eat you alive if you don’t give them some sort of structure and, and set expectations, you know? And so I’m, I’m a big believer in, you know, having, you know, regular meetings with clients either, you know, in person or by phone, even when you think you don’t need them because it allows you to channel their, you know, their requests.

And it allows you to make sure that you’re communicating all the things that you’re doing because, you know, so often these days where, you know, People can do things virtually. You don’t necessarily see all the work that’s being put in behind the scenes, you know, to get the end result and those meetings give you the opportunity to share some of those, those details.

But, but I think the biggest value is just, you know, is channeling their requests so that instead of having, you know, 400 emails every day from them with, you know, little things, if you can somehow, you know, get them into some sort of halfway structure, you’ll be a lot more sane and, and happy.

Gini Dietrich: Well, yeah, I mean, even just some sort of project management system, you know, like Basecamp or Asana, where you can, you can get them all into one place, and they actually, I think them seeing the behind the scenes, seeing how the, the hot dogs are made is good for them, because, you know, I think PR sort of is seen still as the black box or the, you know, the magical pill that nobody really knows how it works, but when it works, boy, it works really well.

Chip Griffin: Yeah, and look, I mean, my experience over the years in consulting has been that the clients who end up being the worst usually are so because I screwed up something early on. Right. And it’s, you know, not, not screwed up necessarily in a bad way, but, but I didn’t provide the right structure, or, you know, I mean, we always try to over deliver right when you have a new client, but you have to be careful about that too, because then they come to expect that.

Well, I mean, you did this last month for X dollars. Why, why are you telling me now I have to pay more? That doesn’t make any sense to me. you know, and they, they don’t understand the concept of, I was just trying to over deliver to make you happy to start and, you know, all that kind of thing. So you, you’re essentially driving down your.

Your own rates if you overdeliver Yes, yes. If you respond, you know, super fast simply because you didn’t have a busy day, they then start to expect that. Right? And then, then what happens when you have other clients who want things, right? So, you know, you really need to be thinking, I think about client management from day one and setting appropriate expectations, even to the point where, you know, nowadays with, with clients, I will sometimes deliberately sit on something that I could turn around right away simply so that.

You know, you’ve established the right process going forward. you know, because if they think they own you 24 7, you’re dead. You’re dead.

Gini Dietrich: That’s actually a really good point and it’s something that I’ve coached my team on. You know, in the last year we’ve really been cognizant about it. But it is, don’t answer clients at 8 o’clock at night.

Don’t answer clients on the weekend. I know it might not be a big deal and that, you know, if it’s, obviously, if it’s a crisis or something that has to be, yes, but if it’s just a, hey, can you remind me what time our meeting is on Tuesday and it’s Saturday at 8 p. m., you don’t need to respond to that right, right away.

Because you’re right, they do come to expect it. And then when you don’t do it, because heaven forbid you’re out with your friends on a Saturday night. it becomes an issue.

Chip Griffin: Now when you have your own business, you’re not allowed to have friends. It’s all about work.

Gini Dietrich: Right Well, i’m talking about my team

Chip Griffin: Well, you’re hiring the wrong people then I I only hire people without friends I don’t want them to be distracted.

Gini Dietrich: That’s part of the interview questions.

How many friends do you have zero? Okay, you’re hired

Chip Griffin: Well, yeah, and if they come in with friends, they probably don’t have them for very long Once they’ve been working for me, but no, no, that’s not true anyone listening. I’m a great person to work for I have some job openings right now. So so please do apply for them In any case, you know and you know You touched also on technology and technology has changed so much in the the 20 years that I have been in business for myself Doing consulting amongst others You know, when I first started out, you know, I had a pager that a client could use to reach me in the event of emergency.

you know, I had this giant brick of a cell phone that I remember clipping on my belt next to the two way pager that I had there. And, you know, and I found both in boxes within the last year or so. And I looked at them and I’m like, how the hell did I walk around with these things on my belt all the time and not have everybody just laughing at me?

And the answer was because everybody did it. Right? But, but now that, that cell phone, you know, I mean, that’s, it’s, it’s bigger than my home phone here. it sits on my desk. I mean, it was giant. but you know, so, so technology has evolved to the point where, you know, back then, you know, you, you were much more tethered, right?

I mean, if I had to deal with a client issue, I had to be somewhere where I could be near a computer that could dial up to a modem or something like that. you know, or lug around a giant laptop with me, you know, even if I’m going to the beach or something, just in case, you know, now with, With smartphones, in some ways it’s liberating, right?

Because you can do almost anything you want from wherever you want. At the same time, clients know you can do almost anything anywhere you are. So, so balancing those two, you know, so on the one hand I feel free. I feel like I can go somewhere on the weekend and, you know, not feel like I’m. I’m chained to my desk at the same time, you’re still chained to the client, just in a different way, if you allow yourself to be.

Gini Dietrich: If you allow yourself to be, and certainly there are, you know, I’m not saying that you, and I don’t think you are either, you’re, that you should never do after hours, but, you know, like, I knew that this was going to change when I was in Colorado and I was skiing, and it was, The week between Christmas and New Year’s.

And a New York Times reporter called me, and it was still when I had the flip phone where you could text going A, B, C, D, E, F. Yeah. she called me, and I thought it was a 212 number, so I answered, and I was literally getting on the lift. And so I had this conversation with her, and I said to her, Okay, let me get some information for you, and I’ll call you back.

Cut off the ski lift, skied to the bottom, called her back, and got her what she needed, and then kept skiing, like, So, you know, I think there’s, there’s a nice opportunity to be able to be wherever we are, doing whatever we, you know, Want at the beach or skiing or whatever it happens to be but also setting some boundaries or making sure that the expectations are clear

Chip Griffin: Yeah, and and nowadays it’s not just that personal technology that we have it’s you know It’s all the tools that we have as communicators that we need to To have access to whether it’s, you know, an excellent media monitoring service like custom scoop or Google analytics or slack for communications.

I mean, there’s just, there’s so many tools now that, that we need to, to understand, you know, that I, I think it makes it hard to figure out, okay, if I’m running a business, which are the, which are the tools that I should be using versus which are the ones that are just nice to have, or be generally aware about, And so, you know, that’s I think a struggle for anyone in business, but particularly in PR.

Gini Dietrich: It is a struggle for anybody in business, but I think you’re right in PR because we’re supposed to be the ones who know all the ins and outs, the pros and cons of every tool. So are we supposed to be paying attention to artificially intelligent Twitter users and what’s happening there? And should we be incorporating that?

Of course, live streaming video is the big, huge trend for 2016. What should we be doing there? What are the pros and cons? You know, what are the creative ideas around using it? Microsoft is introducing Holoportation. What does that mean for, events and for trade shows and for, town hall meetings with our executives.

So, I think that, you know, it’s a real struggle, and, and, Even for me, who’s somebody, I love this stuff, and I love being, I’m always a first adopter, and I love technology, but man, it’s hard to keep up. It’s really hard to keep up.

Chip Griffin: Yeah, no, I’m in the same box, but, you know, virtually a week doesn’t go by that someone doesn’t say, you know, hey, what do you think about, X and such.

I’m like, I, to be honest, I never heard of it. you know, I’m going to go Google it right now and see what it is. But, and you, and you deal with this from clients too, right? You know, I think we need a Snapchat, a Snapchat strategy. Well, say that seven times fast. you know, and, and I’m like, no. No, we’re not doing that because it’s not your target audience.

And what the hell are you going to do with it anyway? you know, so there are all these tools out there and there’s the expectation that you’re not only aware of them, but that you’re proficient enough to use them. But you know, you, you have to also be able to, you know, from a, both a business as well as a strategic perspective, go to a client and say, no, this is not a good fit.

Gini Dietrich: you know, And here’s why, because we’ve tried it and this is, this is what we’ve seen. You have to be able to do that.

Chip Griffin: Yeah, and, and, or it is a good fit, but you’re going to have to pay more for it, right, you know, this is not, you know, we, we can’t, you know, yes, we’re working with you to communicate on three different platforms, you want three more, okay, that’s, there’s Going to have to be a way to pay for that either by us doing less somewhere else, you know, and again, that goes back to the business side, and again, I’ve been guilty of this many times over the years where I just add on those extra platforms and help communicate on them, and then pretty soon, you know, you’re doing six times as much work as you originally had planned and are billing for, but then how do you get out of that hole?

It’s hard.

Gini Dietrich: You can’t, it’s really, because to your point earlier, you know, you go back to the client and say, I need more money. And they say, but you’ve been doing it, like, okay, right. Well, doing it for free,

Chip Griffin: essentially. Well, and that’s where, you know, being able to show results. So as you put it, the whole measurement thing, you know, can also be helpful, right?

If you’re able to demonstrate, you know, the, the, the benefit of your work. for the client, you know, that can be a conversation starter for, you know, additional compensation or additional projects where you can potentially get that compensation, you know, in the future. Yes.

Gini Dietrich: And I think we also have a, we struggle among our industry as a whole.

We struggle with the measurement thing for two reasons. One, because we don’t fully understand it and we haven’t had, there’s not a universal way to measure what we do. But also because clients. Ask for things that don’t matter. Like, I want a million Facebook fans. Or, I want 200 million impressions. Or, I want an advertising equivalency of 20 million.

You know, those things that don’t matter, but because that’s what they’re accustomed to getting, they keep asking for it. So you have, you have this really wide divide of, okay, if that’s what the client wants, we certainly can give them that. Show it to them in that way. But we also need to educate them and bring them over to this new way of showing a real way of showing results that isn’t advertising equivalencies and media impressions.

so it’s also that balance of. We know that maybe this isn’t the right way, but that’s what they want. So you have to do that, but also how do you continue to educate them and show them the right things to be measuring?

Chip Griffin: Well, yeah, look, I remember back in the 90s, one of the first internet projects I worked on, my predecessor had always reported the, the number of hits that a website received, and, you know, of course, you know, we, these days, you know, well, I should probably, probably these days, nobody would even say this anymore.

But back then, once we got smart, we said hits is how idiots track success, because, you know, a hit included the loading of every single image that So, so you could easily juice your numbers just by putting another standard graphic on your homepage, right? And all of a sudden, Oh, look, you know, instead of, you know, 10 graphics, we have 11.

We had a 10 percent growth in traffic this month. No, you had exactly the same amount of traffic. But, but my point is he had been reporting this, you know, up the chain. And so once I inherited it, I was sort of forced to do the same thing, even though I knew that it was a garbage number. and, and so. At one point I redesigned the site and in order to make it load faster, because this was in the days of modems and so speed mattered, I reduced dramatically the number of actual images that were on the page and so all of a sudden the chart that they loved to see looked horrible, you know?

And so, you know, they’re then saying to me, what have you done? How did you screw this up? And I’m like, no, I did, but you have to go through that whole, you know, explanatory thing, but you know, that goes to setting expectations early on with a client and agreeing early on what are the metrics that you’re going to use so that, you know, you have a way of communicating to them that you’re both on the same page.

Gini Dietrich: Right. And that, I think you’re right. It goes to the business development end of it too, which is, you know, what kinds, what, what kind of success do you expect to see? And if a client says, well, I expect that I’m going to get a two times. return on my investment, that’s probably a really good client for us.

If the client says, I just want my name in print, we’re probably going to walk away from that client because that’s not, you know, we want to be doing things that actually move a business forward and getting your name in print doesn’t always equate to that.

Chip Griffin: No, but you know, I mean, I, I still see proposals from, PR pros who will put out, you know, you know, I’ll get you one to two placements a month.

Seriously, that’s what you’re, that’s what you’re pitching. I mean, you know, it just, it, it, and, and some of these are relatively smart people, but it boggles my mind that that’s their business model that they’re pushing. Yes. You know, and, but I, you know, I think that goes to, you know, every, everyone needs to understand what their business model is.

What are they comfortable with selling? You know, what are they going to be happy selling? and, and what can they actually deliver?

Gini Dietrich: Well, it’s funny you say that, you know, I think it also goes to, if you have that process or you understand, you know, your, your best practices and what makes you different, then it also helps you with clients.

So we had a client that we just walked away from at the beginning of April because. we have a very strict process, especially when you have e commerce. And like the reason we have this process is because we know it works and we know we’re going to generate you revenue. And if you follow our process, I know exactly how much revenue we can generate for you.

So I can, I can, I am comfortable saying to a client, we will generate X number of dollars in this many months if you follow this process, well, he kept trying to, to muck up the process. And I said to him, I can’t guarantee the work that we’re doing if you want to do it this way. And he, and he would say things like, well, I used to run corporate communications at such and such agency 20 years ago.

you know, things like that. And I finally said, look, we can’t be successful if you don’t follow our process. And he said, I guess there were a crossroads. And I said, I guess we are. And we walked away. but I think that allows you, it, it certainly saves, it would have, it saved us a ton. Time and energy and angst because without that process we probably would have gone the full year before we realized it was a bad relationship

Chip Griffin: But I think that that entrepreneurs in the PR space or elsewhere need to need to be in a position where they’re comfortable to fire.

You can be comfortable to fire a client, and you can be comfortable to fire an employee. You know, firing an employee is never fun, but it’s usually the best for everybody. And if you let it go too long, it just becomes more painful for everybody. Everybody.

Gini Dietrich: You, the person, the team, everybody.

Chip Griffin: Now firing a client, on the other hand, I actually kind of enjoy that.

You do? I do. You know, usually because at that point it’s just, I mean, if I have gotten to the point where I’m firing a client, it’s gotten so bad that I, you know, it’s like lancing a boil. I just, I want it done. and so there is a certain You know, it’s, it’s like calling a kid out on the base pass in baseball, you know, there’s just a certain thrill in it.

What can I say? I’m, I’m not a healthy individual, Gini

Gini Dietrich: I love it. I love it. I love it. And usually too, when, when you have problem clients like that, and you, you’re hanging on for whatever reason, your team’s looking at you like, why are we doing this? And so then you lose a certain amount of respect from your team too.

So I think there’s a lot of different reasons to be really. Cognizant about, cognizant about these things.

Chip Griffin: Yeah, no, absolutely. I mean, the team has decided the client should be fired well before the, well before the executive finally agrees to it. you know, I mean, there, heck, there, there are some clients that, the employees would fire on day one, probably, if they had their druthers, but, you know, it’s a balance.

Gini Dietrich: It is a balance. Yes, the employees don’t necessarily always have access to, Whether or not you’re going to be able to make payroll if you fire the client. Right,

Chip Griffin: yeah, make payroll, come on. Well, on that note, I think it’s important that PR folks know how to, know if they’re going to make payroll. And so if they can get smarter about business, that’s a good thing.

One way they can get smarter about business is by reading the Spin Sucks blog, because You guys put lots of good content up there that’s useful from a business perspective, not just from the mechanics of PR perspective, and of course we do so at Media Bullseye as well. So, hopefully those are some tools people can use, and, Gini, you want to remind people where they can find the Spin Sucks blog?

Gini Dietrich: This is going to be hard. spin, spinsucks. com. It’s really difficult.

Chip Griffin: I, I, I, I think that, that, pretty much any listener can achieve that, and if not then go find a different podcast. So. Bye. In the event, my guest today has been Gini Dietrich of Armand Dietrich and the aforementioned Spin Sucks. Thanks for joining me.

Gini Dietrich: Thanks for having me

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