PR WORLD CONGRESS 2000 NEWS: Seltzer believes agencies are in for a rude awakening

CHICAGO: PR agencies need a lesson in client relations, or they could be in trouble when the economy slows down, warned Bob Seltzer, president and CEO of Ogilvy Public Relations.

CHICAGO: PR agencies need a lesson in client relations, or they could be in trouble when the economy slows down, warned Bob Seltzer, president and CEO of Ogilvy Public Relations.

CHICAGO: PR agencies need a lesson in client relations, or they could be in trouble when the economy slows down, warned Bob Seltzer, president and CEO of Ogilvy Public Relations.

In his talk at the Public Relations World Congress 2000, he warned that PR firms are getting too big for their boots as today's healthy business climate means that they can afford to turn away new clients - something that's never happened before in his professional lifetime.

'Some agencies are doing this very badly and being rude to potential clients,' Seltzer said. 'There will come a time when we will all have to go hunting again' for new business, at which point, he added, companies will remember the shoddy treatment they received from PR firms and refuse to deal with those who treated them poorly.

Several corporate PR people listening to Seltzer's speech chimed in with tales of PR firms not returning their phone calls or of agencies asking why they should work for them, rather than the more savory practice of pitching for the business.

The major issue facing agencies today isn't finding business; it's finding enough staff to handle the business coming in, Seltzer said. As a result, firms can be much choosier about who they work for.

'If a client is not treating us well, we don't need them anymore,' he said. However, he cautioned that doesn't justify unbusinesslike conduct toward a client or potential client.



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