You meet. They visit your office. They come, mob handed. There's the MD and the Business Development Manager and the Account Director and possibly even a person with a real job. Important people. Enjoy their company - you will never see them again.
You like them. They're convincing. They smile a lot and promise even more. You sign up for a minimum of 12 months. You pay them lots of cash up front. You know it makes sense, right? They're a famous PR Agency. They have important clients. Contacts in high places. Big flash cars. It's a win/win situation.
You become a Client. Everything is great! But after a few weeks the honeymoon is over. You get that sinking feeling. You start to be treated like just another Client. No one special. The MD and the Business Development Manager have disappeared. The Account Director has assigned you to a junior member of staff. They know nothing about your industry. They can't spell your name correctly. They're always too busy. "I'm sorry, I don't have your file to hand. Can you just run me through what's happening with your campaign again?"
The Agency promised to deliver a huge splash. They would get you everywhere, darling! To date they've spammed press releases to every living (and the odd dead) journalist with no luck. But forget the national press. Getting in Extruded Polymers World and the Uppington Gazette would be a result. You're starting to do the work for them. Telling them what your stories are and where you want to be. It's becoming apparent that they don't quite know what to do because they don't fully understand your industry - so they're not really sure what works.
It's all gone quiet. Nothing has happened for months. You've had the patronising chat about 'New Media' and the lecture on how 'things take time'. They've run out of ideas and anyway, you're soooo last week darling. You keep ringing, they keep fobbing you off. You want to meet the MD to try and get the project back on track? Oh his PA is very nice - but he's a busy man you know - five new pitches today alone. He puts a lot of effort into the pitches, you know. You keep emailing into a massive black hole. You start feeling like a burden. Meanwhile, they're onto the next client. Big important agencies take on every client. They have to spread themselves thin because they have bloated salaries and bills to pay. 'Who are you again?'
You're frustrated, angry and worried. You signed the contract, there's no way out. You blame yourself; you tell yourself you should have known. All the signs were there, weren't they? Was it when they said: 'Let's go Viral, darling' or when they told you how expensive it is to own Media Disk? No, it was probably when your account manager rang you when they were on the way to the hairdressers. Are you just an afterthought now? You'll never use a PR Agency again. All of them are wasters. All of them.
Zip. Zilch. Unless you count the £20k you're still spending. Yes, there IS that.