May 19, 2006

You know why no one's talking about this one?

Because THIS one is scary. All I can figure is that PR is PRing itself because the whole industry would like to spin this puppy. Why? When what seem like familiar billing practices end up sending other firms' folks to jail, you go:

Another juror cited a series of e-mails among Dowie, Stodder and other Fleishman-Hillard executives in Los Angeles and the firm's headquarters in St. Louis. In them, Dowie asked that the billing be "padded" to help meet monthly revenue projections, and Stodder repeatedly directed his subordinates to bill more time to the city.

good thing most people are smart enough NOT to put those kind of requests in email.

I want one BigPR person to come here and leave a comment, with a hand on the Bible or The Da Vinci Code--your preference--stating that you believe the biggest account in your office has never had extra hours (either value-billed or hours from other clients' projects that went over budget) billed to that mega-budget client. Ever.

Heck, I extend that invitation to BigConsulting in general.

Come on--you stake your reputation on that having never happened.

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Kami Huyse said...

I am not BIG consulting, but I can say, with a hand firmly on the Bible, that I have never inflated billings. EVER. In fact, I've under-inflated them from time to time. I believe that my client doesn't need to pay for my education on an issue. So, I have often given hours away. Why? It is a New orleans tradition called lanniape, and it is one I firmly believe in.

John Wagner said...

Easy to do if you're on your own or work for a small firm ...

Impossible to do if you've ever worked for a publicly held, big-time firm.

If the client's monthly budget is $25K, and you only incurred $18K in time, and New York (or London) is breathing down your neck for more revenue ...

It's why I've been saying for some time that the PR/client billing model is broken. There's no denying that the system doesn't work.

Jeneane Sessum said...

Yep, or heavy breathers Omnicom or Interpublic... ;-)

Kami Huyse said...

John; I will certainly take your word for it and can see how the pressures of big business come to bear on this (look at Enron for instance). I have been lucky (I guess) to work as an employee and now as my own boss.