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Navigating the Pitfalls of PR to Build a Positive Reputation with Divya Patel

Navigating the Pitfalls of PR to Build a Positive Reputation with Divya Patel

This article was based on episode #34: learn everything about Divya Patel’s tale on bad publicity and self-sabotage, by the hand of Our Beloved Host, Morgan Friedman. Please watch the complete episode here!


“Clients hold on to certain things that you say. So you’ve gotta be very careful of obviously what you say to them in the start.” – Divya Patel

As the world becomes increasingly digital, the importance of online advertising cannot be overstated. But with the great power of reaching millions of potential customers comes great responsibility to ensure that the message being broadcasted is appropriate and ethical. Unfortunately, not all clients seem to understand this. 

In a recent podcast interview, Divya Patel, a digital marketing expert, shared some of the horror stories she has encountered throughout her career, including a client who wanted to include nude women in their ads in order to get on the front page of a tabloid.

Disclaimer: To protect the client’s privacy, their company is presented as one that sells luxury men’s watches.

So, here’s exactly what happened…

The company owners were quite young, but with their drive and determination, they were set on entering the premium market to compete against the big guys. Perhaps their age made them quite naive, because while their goal was absolutely amazing, their expectations fell quite short on the scale – they wanted results fast.

With limited digital knowledge, they could not properly understand and digest how PPC works. Overwhelmed with excitement, Divya’s company felt like they had to reign the kids in to calm down and listen. Along their partnership, a YouTube campaign was suggested for a much-needed brand awareness.

The customer insisted that they would prepare the video themselves, so Divya and her team gave them a list of particulars – what they wanted to see in the video, the proper materials to use, etc. All that was properly explained and everyone was ready to go.

One morning, as Divya came into the office, she saw a look on her boss’ face that told her something was definitely wrong – and boy was she right!

Their client finally published the YouTube video Divya’s team asked for, but they didn’t follow the brief. Instead, a video that was supposed to be portraying their premium watches instead featured a wide shot with a group of women in lingerie just walking in the background. It was a nightmare, and Divya was left dumbfounded. 

Worst of all, the brand landed themselves on the first page of one of UK’s biggest tabloids. Immediately, the brand was under fire and bad light as they were portrayed as a brand that degraded women – all that work went down the drain just because of one video.

Weirdly enough, their clients didn’t think too much about it – they were actually happy without the exposure because according to them, “any sort of PR was good PR” and they thought this was a nice way to get their name out there.

Navigating the Challenges of Client Communication in Digital Marketing

Are you ready to level up your digital marketing game? Effective communication is the key to success in this dynamic and constantly evolving industry. But let’s face it – it’s not always smooth sailing. From managing unrealistic expectations to dealing with difficult clients, navigating the challenges of client communication can be a daunting task.

However, don’t let that discourage you. With the right approach, you can overcome these challenges and build a strong, successful partnership with your clients. It all starts with setting realistic goals and educating your clients on the digital marketing process. By doing so, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page from the outset, and that your clients have a better understanding of what to expect from their campaign.

Another crucial aspect of effective communication is dealing with difficult clients. Whether they’re demanding, unresponsive, or have a specific vision that doesn’t align with your expertise, it’s important to remain calm, professional, and find common ground where possible. This might mean compromising on certain aspects of the campaign or explaining why certain ideas might not work as well as they hope.

But proactive communication is where you can really shine. Keep your clients in the loop throughout the campaign, providing regular updates on progress and addressing any concerns or questions they might have. Whether it’s through phone calls, emails, or face-to-face meetings, tailor your communication style to your client’s preferences, and ensure they feel confident in your ability to deliver results.

Remember, effective communication is an ongoing process. Objectives and goals can change over time, and it’s your responsibility to stay up-to-date with your client’s needs. Regular communication and analysis are necessary to ensure the marketing campaign stays on track and continues to meet the client’s objectives.

So, embrace the challenges of client communication with confidence and flexibility. By focusing on clear communication, managing expectations, and being proactive, you can build a strong, successful partnership with your clients and achieve the digital marketing results they desire.

Remember, communication is a two-way street. By listening to your clients and incorporating their feedback into your campaigns, you can build a stronger, more collaborative relationship that delivers outstanding results. So take the time to understand your clients’ needs, adapt your communication style to suit their preferences, and create campaigns that truly deliver.

The Pros and Cons of Vanity Metrics

Vanity metrics are the type of metrics that may make you feel good, but in reality, they don’t matter much when it comes to achieving business objectives. 

In digital marketing, vanity metrics are often used as a measure of success, with some clients demanding to appear on top of search engine results or social media platforms, without understanding the long-term implications of such a strategy.

  1. Quick and easy measurement: Vanity metrics can be quickly and easily measured, providing an immediate sense of accomplishment and progress.
  2. Boosts morale: Vanity metrics can boost team morale and give a sense of achievement, especially when working on a long-term project.
  3. Helps to justify budget: Vanity metrics can be used to justify budget allocation and convince stakeholders that a project is successful.
  1. Can be misleading: Vanity metrics can be misleading and not give an accurate representation of the overall success of a project.
  2. Can lead to misguided decisions: Focusing on vanity metrics can lead to misguided decisions and strategies that do not address the underlying problems.
  3. Can lead to short-term thinking: Focusing solely on vanity metrics can lead to a short-term thinking mentality, sacrificing long-term goals for quick wins.

Lessons Learned from Controversial Advertising Campaigns

Controversial advertising campaigns have become commonplace in the digital marketing landscape. While these campaigns can generate buzz and attention, they can also backfire and harm a brand’s reputation. 

Considering the Audience 

In the case of the Divya’s client, they attempted to insert nude women into their ads secretly to get on the front page of a tabloid. However, this strategy was not well received by the audience, and the brand’s reputation suffered as a result. Brands need to consider how their audience will react to controversial ads before launching them.

Preparing a Crisis Management Plan

When controversial ads go wrong, brands need to be prepared to handle the fallout. This can include issuing a public apology, taking corrective action, and being transparent with their audience about how they are addressing the issue.

Why Aligning with Client Objectives Is Important

In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, it’s crucial to align with the client’s objectives to ensure the success of a marketing campaign. However, this is easier said than done, as the client’s goals and needs may not always align with what the marketing agency believes is best for their business.

But fear not, as Divya and Morgan’s conversation sheds light on the importance of understanding client objectives and how to navigate the challenges that come with it. From clients who prioritize vanity metrics over ROI to those with specific timelines, it’s crucial to communicate with clients regularly to determine their goals and objectives.

To achieve optimal results, digital marketers must tailor their strategies to meet the client’s needs effectively. Without proper communication, a marketing campaign can quickly derail, leading to poor outcomes. Therefore, it’s crucial to stay in touch with clients regularly and analyze the campaign’s progress to ensure that it stays on track.

But aligning with client objectives is not a one-time activity. Objectives can change over time, and it’s the agency’s responsibility to stay up-to-date with the client’s needs. It’s essential to establish a strong relationship with the client and to remain in constant communication to understand how their goals may shift.

How to Build Strong Client Relationships

Building strong relationships with clients is crucial in digital marketing, as it fosters trust, loyalty, and long-term success. However, it’s not always easy to build these relationships, especially with clients who have specific objectives or challenging communication styles. 

Here’s how you can strengthen that bond: 
  • Be proactive in your communication. This means regularly checking in with clients, providing updates on progress, and addressing any concerns they may have. 
  • Be flexible and adaptable. Clients’ objectives and needs can change over time, and it’s important to be open to adjusting your strategies to meet these changes. This can include revising goals, changing tactics, or even shifting the overall focus of the campaign. 
  • Be honest and transparent with clients. This means admitting when things aren’t working or when there are challenges in the campaign, and offering solutions to address these issues. 
  • Show that you genuinely care about their success. This means going above and beyond to help them achieve their goals, providing exceptional customer service, and celebrating their successes with them.


We hope this wild ride of a story was both entertaining and informative! Always remember that every client horror story is valid and can teach us valuable lessons in the world of digital marketing. Keep on hustling, stay open-minded, and don’t forget to buckle up for the occasional crazy ride.


This article was based on episode #34: Divya Patel’s Story, please watch the complete episode here!