Atlanta, GA – When Alexis Chateau launched her PR firm in 2016, she made it clear that the firm would work exclusively with entrepreneurs. Thus, Alexis Chateau PR’s clientele focus includes freelancers, indie authors, bloggers, and small business owners.
This chosen niche caused some unrest in the marketing and PR community. It resulted in several emails to the firm from more established companies, warning against such an idea – especially at the discounted rates offered.
The result was a removal of prices from the company’s website, which helped to stem the unsolicited emails from marketing experts. Unfortunately, some of their warnings came true.
Godigio Contract Terminated
It began when Alexis Chateau PR was forced to break ties with Godigio, one of its oldest clients, due to unpaid debts totalling thousands of dollars owed to the firm.
“We’ve been trying to sort that debt since September of 2016,” Founder & Managing Director, Alexis Chateau shares. “I even personally continued to work with them provided the debt did not grow, but it did grow as we progressed into 2017.”
The client’s 2017 contract included a clause for the negotiation of debt payment to be reached by April 1, 2017. However, this did not resolve the issue.
As the due date approached, communication from the client drew to an abrupt halt. So on April 3, 2017, Alexis Chateau PR terminated the contract.
Mass Contract Review
The broken relationship with Godigio compelled the firm to assess other contracts, as well. Clients who were operating outside of their legal agreements with the firm, and who had fallen into miscommunication, were notified.
“There are other clients we broke ties with during the past 30 days,” Chateau confides. “However, there is no need to announce an official break by naming them, as they were never publicly associated with our brand, and we were not their agents or representatives.”
My Wander Why Contract Terminated
This was not the case for My Wander Why, who hired Alexis Chateau PR to build and represent the brand in February of 2017.
According to Chateau, the firm informed Founder Abigail Shirvinski that her contract was under review in mid-April, due to contract violations that had taken place on April 4, 2017. When another 18 days went by without reparations, Alexis Chateau PR issued a formal termination of the contract.
“There were several reasons we chose to break ties with My Wander Why. Firstly, our team expressed concern that the client was operating without proper registration or a business license,” Chateau disclosed.
“Before we could press this issue for what would have been the second or third time, the account went inactive without due notice; and without any explanation after the fact. That was the third or fourth contract violation, so we decided it was time to count our losses and move on.”
New Client Screening Process
Alexis Chateau PR has since commenced an in-depth review of its client screening process, its contractual agreements with new clients, and the payment process.
The main aim is to ensure that new clients coming on-board are serious about building a business, and have the resources to commit to doing so.
Turnover is an inevitable part of business, especially when you serve one of the most unstable niches in the market i.e. startups, indies, and entrepreneurs. But it’s not the breaks that matter; it’s the how.
We did have clients who came forward during the review, and respectfully let us know they could not continue. Those are clients we would happily work with again, when circumstances change.
Alexis Chateau PR’s new client screening processes have not been finalized. However, the contract review process has ended, and the firm expects to keep all remaining clients for some time to come. The new screening processes will not affect existing clients.
As of the publishing date, representatives for Godigio and My Wander Why have still not provided statements to the firm. Should statements be provided in the future, the article will be updated, accordingly.
About Alexis Chateau PR
Alexis Chateau PR is an independent public relations agency with a special interest in lifestyle brands. From education to entertainment to travel, we’ve worked with clients in all areas of the lifestyle industry since 2006.
The firm is currently preparing for the launch of its in-house travel services to complement the lifestyle and business needs of its clients, team mates, and blog subscribers.
Alexis Chateau, Founder & Managing Director
Alexis Chateau PR, LLC