Don’t Work in PR If you You Need a Pat on the Head

I recently landed my first big media placement at my new firm and one

Mother and Son Looking at Fir Pinecones in Woods

of my friends congratulated me and asked “what did your client say when you sent them the clip?”

The client said nothing. They don’t need to.

Unless there was some inaccuracy in the article, it’s not really necessary for a client to write back with anything let alone a “thank you.” Sure, it’s nice when they do so, but for me, as long as a client fee is honored, I need nothing else.

This is where corporate camaraderie comes into play. PR is not a business you go into if you consistently need a “pat on the head” for a job well done. What does keep you sane and working hard (hopefully besides your personal drive to succeed), is your colleagues. It’s always helped me to see my coworkers as teammates; there to listen to frustrations when something isn’t going well with a client, or to give you a high-five when you get that big placement.

How do you feel about clients thanking you for placements and a job well-done? I have a feeling we might be split down the middle on this one, so I’m eager to see what you think.

Kate OttavioThis post was written by Kate Ottavio a PR professional working in Manhattan. You can find her at

*This blog post is based on my own views and do not reflect those of my clients or employer.

7 Responses to Don’t Work in PR If you You Need a Pat on the Head
  1. Kate Ottavio
    October 12, 2010 | 2:17 pm

    Sorry, “comrade” is supposed to be camaraderie. 🙂

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  3. Anonymous
    October 12, 2010 | 3:47 pm

    I agree in principle, but not practice. Not every media hit needs to be acknowledged with encomium. After all, we’re only doing our jobs.

    However, we’ve had a few clients who shrugged off even the most significant hits in tier one media. These were hits that led to speaking engagements, incoming sales and proved to be a clear ROI on their PR investment.

    Over time, the team started viewing the client relationship as an indentured servitude and came to resent the client.

    An occasional and well-timed compliment or expression of thanks keeps your PR team hungry for the next big hit.

  4. Anonymous
    October 12, 2010 | 5:05 pm

    No thanks required if its a basic, run of the mill type placement. But when you land that feature story in Fortune, or front page of the NY Times business section, I think a little pat on the head is more than appropriate. How hard is it for a client to shoot a quick email that says, “hey, great piece. thanks for your hard work.”??

  5. Kate Ottavio
    October 12, 2010 | 5:17 pm

    Not hard at all. Completely agree! However, it’s more of the exception and not the rule for clients to write that quick ‘thank you.’

  6. Kate Ottavio
    October 12, 2010 | 5:22 pm

    Thanks so much for your insight! As the PR firm, we can be used and abused by less-than-friendly clients. I believe only a well-maintained relationship between client and firm will bring the most optimum results. Ultimately, it’s up to the president / firm owner to make the decision as to when a client relationship has become toxic and must end (and hopefully this is only in the most extreme cases).

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