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PR Grouch moans about the post-pitch silent treatment

12th December 2012

We’ve all been there. You work your bollocks off coming up with great thinking and great ideas for some new business pitch and then... nothing.

A couple of voicemails later you get a call to say that things are taking longer than expected. Then ... more nothing. After three more voicemails and a couple of emails ... still nothing.

Then you wait some more (by this time, a month or so may have gone by). And you make one last call. And then. Well, you give up. You take your bat home.

Tossers! Why be so rude?

Sometimes we wonder whether clients really appreciate how much work goes into pitching for their business. Some of the responses that we get back would suggest they either don't know or that they don't really care.

The clients who understand what you've just been through are careful to stick to the promised deadline, or at least update you if they're going to miss that time. They think about how they tell you (phone calls are nice!) and they give you some useful feedback about what (and who) they liked and didn't like.

They show an understanding that agencies plough a LOT of time into a big pitch. And when we say a lot of time, we mean, of course, a lot of money. Thousands – and sometimes tens of thousands – of rupees worth of time.

Once I even had an email from a prospective client to say "sorry you didn't get the work". Have some bollocks and pick up the phone!

It shows a blatant disregard for the agencies that they have had in to pitch. And sometimes that's a crop of the best agencies going in the sector, all committing teams of people to fixing things for the client.

Even worse than the emailed "no" is silence. Now that’s just plain rude. Arrogant and may leave me with little choice but to send the dogs round!

Telling an agency it hasn’t got the work is tough, of course it is. But if a client can’t face those calls, it should never have run a pitch process.

So cowardly clients should pick up the phone and give agencies the feedback they deserve – for good or bad.

Trust us, while we may not thank a client for saying no, but we will at least think better of them for acknowledging our work and telling us honestly where we didn't get it right.

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