I am sure that working with a difficult client is an integrated part of working in this industry. It is hard to avoid the situation where you and your client have conflicting interests or you just cannot connect on a professional level.
As part of my public relations capstone class, our professor assigns real clients from the local area that are in need of a communications plan, with pr teams from our class. These clients volunteer their time to collaborate with us in the hopes of creating complex strategies and tactics to attack their market. Granted, we as students are working for free, much like any internship; but the client receives professional grade work.
Although this might seem like a great opportunity, mainly because you don’t have to apply to work for the clients or go looking for this opportunity, the clients are sometimes not easy to work with. My pr team had the privilege of working with the most difficult client out of them all. The problem with our client is that she came into this project knowing that it was a school project, therefore treating us like students rather than professionals. Although our interests and visions were on target, we had difficulties staying in contact and executing a majority of the planned primary research due to prior plans by the client.
The number one goals for any agency or firm is to keep their client happy; mostly by throwing at them communications and marketing plans that will give them maximum return on their investment. Clients however, take into consideration much more than that. There is a culture and partnership that comes with working with a client and the best work comes out of those special relationships. Experiencing working with a difficult client gives pr and ad teams strength and knowledge of how to approach a good client or better the relationship with an old one. I cannot wait to create these relationships with clients I will work for professionally.