13 Things I’ve Learned in the PR Agency Business

Post by Jim Bianchi, APR, President 

BPR logosBack in ’92, when I started my PR firm, I had more than a dozen years of PR experience – and more than half of that with another PR agency – so I thought I knew pretty much all I needed to know.

I was wrong. Really wrong.

And as Bianchi PR celebrates its 25th anniversary this summer, I realize just how much I’ve learned since then … and am delighted to know that there will always be more to learn.

Here are some things that I’ve learned in the PR agency business over the past 25 years:

1. If your staff needs a pool table or basketball hoop in the office in order to have fun at work, either they’re doing it wrong or they are in the wrong business … or both.

2. If a prospective client or employee is problematic or inconsiderate at the very start, they’re just going to get worse.

3. It’s good to take PR, your job and your client seriously; it’s not good to take yourself too seriously.

4. If a prospect won’t give you a budget figure or range upon which you can base your proposal, they probably don’t have an approved budget.

5. Toxic employees are not worth all the pain. Neither are toxic clients. Move on.

6. No one is irreplaceable, not even you. Really.

7. If you spend the client’s money and time as carefully as you would your own, you’ll both be better off.

8. Monthly PR retainers are not necessarily evil. Some clients actually need and prefer a predictable budget spend and a steady, consistent effort.

9. If you take care of your clients, they will take care of you. Same goes with your employees.

10. It’s not our job to be the hero. It’s our job to make the client the hero.

11. It’s okay – even beneficial sometimes – to make mistakes … as long as you own up to them, fix them, learn from them … and don’t make the same ones twice.

12. Listening is the most important skill in PR. If you’re talking more than you’re listening, you’re broadcasting, not communicating.

Oh yeah, one more thing:

13. It’s not as easy as it looks.


  1. Posted August 7, 2017 at 10:08 pm by Denise Orth-Berg

    Congrats on 25 years and for staying true to yourself!

  2. Posted August 8, 2017 at 11:14 pm by Stéphane Billiet

    Hi Jim,
    Many thanks for these thoughtful learnings that I share 150%. That’s so true. And refreshing to see that wisdom comes with years.
    With my warm regards.

  3. Posted September 5, 2017 at 5:05 pm by Mike Watson

    Jim congratulations! Your integrity and hard work have paid off!

  4. Posted August 8, 2022 at 5:20 pm by John Baxter

    A very wise, common sense list, Jim!

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