It may sound – at face value – a little trite, but clients pay us for our leadership within the professional realm and area of our experience of expertise.

As reputation management and public relations consultants, this means providing advice that is focused unequivocally upon the strategic objectives and needs of the organisation, or products, who’s reputation we are there to protect and promote.

 Sometimes this means offering counsel which is necessary but uncomfortable to hear, the ignorance of which could bring potential harm.

 It might be as simple as the way in which the main reception is handling inbound or customer calls, or perhaps even more fundamental to business strategy or its execution. Either way, clients expect us to proffer quality before pleasure. So, if the observation is a little uncomfortable, then we have a duty (a paid-for duty) to table this.

 This takes courage, tact and professionalism. As I was taught as a professional infantry officer many years ago; ‘tell the General what he needs to hear, not what he wants to hear!’. Ballsy, but right.