I am extremely fortunate to represent Habitat for Humanity of Greater L.A. Everyone there is awesome and our partner families are so amazing. Next week is the Jimmy Carter Work Project 2007 which just happens to be here in L.A. this year! This is the Olympics of Habitat for Humanity and I am so excited to participate.
The coolest part is that all Angelinos can join us…we still have some volunteer slots for locals. If you live in L.A. you must do this. Go to www.jcwpla.org to sign up now and you can help us build 100 homes in 5 days! But that is just the beginning…this even kicks off our Building A Greater L.A. campaign in which we’ll build another 150 homes in the next 2 years.
Habitat is awesome, the families are awesome and it will do so much good for our city. Not to mention how great you’ll feel for having helped. Can you even comprehend that these families are about to become homeowners in the worst affordable housing market in the U.S?
You know the client, the one who pays the least but demands the most attention. I call them ‘squeaky wheels’ and I have had enough of them. They either know more than you or want to micromanage everything you do. I have actually had one ask to see EVERY pitch I prepared before I sent it. Didn’t they hire me because I know how to do this? This association did not last more than one project. I wish I could say that for all my SW experiences.
I don’t mean to sound harsh, I understand that these individuals are spending what they consider to be a lot of money and they want to be sure it’s well spent. But for the love…I can’t take it. Squeaky Wheels call way too much. They are needy. They are clueless as to what it really takes to do your job but they think they know how to do it better than you! They can be rude and they’re never afraid to tell you what a bad job they think you’re doing. Seriously. Many have selective memory, which is the worst because they call more than they email and you don’t have a written trail with which to call them out! I think I spend more time on the phone listening to them rant about their ‘big ideas’ than actually doing the work they hired me to do (well, the work I think they hired me to do.) With SWs the project often takes a lot of strange twists and turns.
Okay, so why do I continue to work with squeaky wheels? I don’t meant to, I think they bait and switch me with their squeakiness! They make you think they’re this great person with a great idea and not a lot of money, they suck you in somehow with their charm or wear you down with persisitence. Or you just feel badly because you don’t want another slick pr person to take advantage of them. Or business is slow and you think it could be easy money, a job your intern can do. But there is nothing easy about it! They can seriously suck the life out of you and make you cringe when you hear the phone ring. And it rings. A lot.
All this glamour for very little income. Brilliant business move on my part! Especially because SWs never pay on time. They drag out the process as long as they possibly can. Some even suggest you did not fulfill your part of the deal. Oh what fun.
First, I am adding NO MORE SQUEAKY WHEELS to my last posting and next I will begin to hone my skills at sniffing out SWs. I have no idea how to do this, but you can bet I’ll post it when I figure it out!
I have the hardest time turning down work. Either I say I can do it, then regret it; or I try to turn it down and the client wears me down till I say yes; or I say no and then find myself apologizing profusely like I am a terrible person. Geez! What kind of fool am I? I am a successful businesswoman so why can’t I simply make good business decisions, diplomatically and honestly, and feel good about it?
Starting today I will. I am going to make a deal with myself to be honest with clients about workload, realistic about expectations and deadlines, and never let myself get pulled into a situation I know I’ll regret. For this new deal, I have decided to make a list of dos and don’ts.
- Be clear from the onset with new clients about what the goals are and how we intend to reach the goals
- Set realistic goals for clients and myself
- Be honest with myself when I have concerns about a client or project
- Be honest with clients about their expectations
- Create a list of long term goals for myself and identify how to get there (update this regularly)
- Blog about why I love my job on a regular basis (it’s a great motivator!)
- Under promise and over deliver
- Network with other publicists to share ideas
- Ask for help when I need it
- Promote myself – scream my successes from the virtual rooftop!
- Take on work I don’t believe in 100%
- Don’t work with clients who’s vision I do not share
- Remain silent when I have concerns about a project
- Take a job just for the money
- Ever pitch something I don’t beleive in (this one is always in effect, but is important!)
- Over promise and under deliver
- Forget to double check my work – typos suck!
- Mislead a client ever – always be honest even when it’s bad news
Hopefully, I DO read this and I DON’T forget.