On Managing Expectations

Two weeks ago I attended PPRA’s Careers 101 event. One of the topics the panel discussed was managing expectations. In other words, when you are working with a client, it is important to make your (and your client’s) expectations clear. I thought that was a great tip, because I see it happen every day, even when working with clients myself, how important it is to take the time to discuss expectations
Every time you pull off an event or even a campaign, you have specific expectations in your mind. You may expect for it to go off swimmingly (a rare instance!) or for the event to fall a little flat. It’s safe to say that nothing will ever exactly meet your expectations as things change on a moment’s notice. However, by setting goals and managing your own expectations, you will save yourself a lot of grief and gain efficiency.
Managing expectations has become vital when working with a new client. Sometimes you may have a generation gap or a gap of experience, and your client may expect something totally different or way more than you can deliver. It’s your job to address the client directly and negotiate what can and cannot feasibly be done. Of course, you want to do your best to help your client, but you will only be hurting yourself and your client if you promise something you cannot deliver. Instead, set goals and reaches, and keep consistent contact with your client about wins and losses. Honesty is the best policy.

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