Client: Where's our feature
What should you do when a feature takes ages to appear and your client is aggrieved?
The best tack, of course, is to ensure your client knows the score — that coverage could be quite delayed — from the get-go. You can then politely prescribe patience whenever they harangue you. It’s also worth considering whether to avoid publications which seem to specialise in delays, no matter how impressive they are.
But let’s consider scenarios where you forgot to give your client such a pre-warning — or perhaps deemed one unnecessary as the feature was hooked on an imminent film release or anniversary with a set date.
In either case, you’re wholly entitled to sporadically pester the journalist for updates. This doubles as a way of ensuring it stays on their agenda. That journalist may prefer that you chase the editor directly, but always verify this first. Keep on asking whether the feature is scheduled yet, and — especially with editors — try to come across as quietly wronged; this might just secure your client some sympathetic bonus coverage in a list piece.
You’ll know better than I how best to appease that client, but ultimately they do have a right to be upset. Worse, scenarios like this can be problematic in undermining trust of the media, thus making subsequent press-trip support less likely. If they’re really peeved or the delay becomes absurd, you’re within your right to (gently) push for a personal update from the publication’s travel editor — hearing from a head honcho like this should at least make the client feel acknowledged and more respected.
But I wouldn’t play that card too often for fear of being reputed a moaner.
What Richard thinks…
“I like this West Sweden release’s clean design and impactful headline, which grabbed my attention. It’s also amazing how many hotel awards are, conveniently, designated as the ‘most important’!”