September 2, 2008

Getting Felt Up…Er. Out. I Meant out.

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:48 pm by R

Sometimes, in the new business process, it can feel like you’re being taken advantage of (thus the headline for this post). It’s a fine balance between revealing your genius as a public relations pro and guarding your brilliance.

In our field in particular, there seem to be a number of people who are happy to come in to a new business appointment, listen to your ideas about strategies for lifting up their business and running with the one little nugget of information they needed to become their own PR guru. It happens every day.

Sometimes, when we are less careful and perhaps a little excited, we share too much. It’s then that potential clients turn into idea poachers and, without paying one red cent for your ideas, go running in the other direction to butcher them.

So how to protect you ideas (CYI if you will):

  1. Copyright — Seriously. Paste a copyright into your proposals or presentations. It gives you a little recourse to have that bugger on there. It may not be worth going through the entire copyright process on every document, but state that the ideas are in fact yours.
  2. Leave ’em hanging — A new business is meeting is a little like a joke, you set up a story, you line up the vision, but you never deliver the punch line. Leave a new business meeting with potential clients wanting more.
  3. Confidentiality Agreements — Should you find yourself faced with a big potential client who is asking for specifics. Make. Them. Sign. A. Confidentiality. Agreement. Your ideas are your selling points. Your ability to execute is your livelihood. Protect it. Sell it. Do it.

In as much as you have to pursue new business with your fantastic ideas, you must be equally concerned with protecting those ideas should the new business not become permanent business.

The intangibility of this wonderful world of PR is one of the stumbling blocks for our industry. On the front end, make those initial ideas concrete by protecting them.

Don’t get felt up….OUT! OUT! I meant out.


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