Kudos To The PR Agency That Fired Hilary Swank

In 2011, the customer isn’t always right, and I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate a leading PR Agency, 42West for firing Hilary Swank as a client rather than taking the fall for her visit to Chechnya, according to multiple media reports.

In the service industry, we can only do so much – we give advice, counsel and strategize – and at the end of the day ultimately bad clients say if it goes well, then it was meant to be… and if it screws up, then the PR firm is to blame.  Well, that’s not always fair, and her publicists fired her.  Bad clients harm any company – and we too at 5WPR have had to fire clients – whether for being nasty, unrealistic expectations or other reasons.

In the wake of the storm of bad press surrounding Swank’s paid appearance at a birthday event for the Chechen president and alleged human rights violator the firm disagreed on how best to deal with the fallout from the event.  Swank admits to not doing her homework and fires her agents in an attempt to clean this up – but she wouldn’t take responsibility for the event saying:  “If I had a full understanding of what this event was apparently intended to be,” she said, “I would never have gone.”

42West I am sure had good reasons to fire her as a client – and its nice for me as a PR firm CEO to see others standing up for what’s right.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading NY PR firm.

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