Give a Fish, Teach to Fish

Chief lesson for clients:Once burned. Twice shy.

Chief lesson for clients:
Once burned. Twice shy.

“Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”

It’s one of those proverbs everyone’s heard — and used.

It’s more true in some professions than others. That fact was brought home recently during a discussion of how much business comes from repeat clients.

For the lawyer, outside CFO, corporate turn-around specialist and IT guru, the ratio was high. Evidence they do good work, so clients trust them, keep them around a long time, and return often.

The Crisis PR person thought for a moment and explained: “Certainly, some clients come back again and again because they trust us to get it right the first time. The keep us on speed dial and call us at the first whiff of trouble, whether the need is theirs or a friend’s. That’s gratifying.”

Can clients learn by observing? Yes. But watching is one thing. Executing with the same results is quite another. Many moving parts. Many factors out of their control that need to be juggled. Like watching a professional athlete or actor or master carpenter. It looks easier than it is.

Consider these basic questions:

  • How much does the media know? (Often less than they think.)
  • What do they not yet know — but may discover? (Depends on what you’re hiding.)
  • How sophisticated are the journalists? (The more sophisticated, the more demanding and less easily fooled. The less sophisticated, the more dangerous to work with.)

One thing all clients come away with is a greater sense of caution. Once burned, twice shy. So they’re less likely to get in a mess again — at least not the same mess.

If that’s all they learn, they got their money’s worth.


“Because Reputation Is Your Most Valuable Asset”

Gillott Communications is a Strategic PR firm. We’re Fixers. Crisis & Reputation Management. Litigation. Media Relations. Crisis Preparation & Training. You can reach Roger Gillott directly at 310-826-8696.

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For a deeper glimpse into our world, see our book on Amazon, “A Lawyer’s Guide to Crisis PR: Protecting Your Clients In & From the Media.”

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