What was the scope of their involvement?
Pamela (Principal/Owner, Korrelation Communications) was supposed to handle all media relations with top Canadian publications. She was also going to design the campaign, create the press kits, and handle press releases and media outreach, pitching, and scheduling. The statistics produced by our previous poll and survey effort were going to play a large part as well.
Regarding media outreach, we wanted to highlight our educational and statistical materials, rather than our product itself. Pamela was responsible for developing key client messages, creating a national targeted media list across various industries including consumer, lifestyle, finance, tech, and business. We wanted her to conduct outreach, secure interviews, prepare interview documents, and attend those interviews as appropriate.
Pamela started with a series of calls and meetings to understand our needs. Thanks to our extensive data and reasonable expectations, she captured our requirements well. The minute we signed the contract and paid half of it, however, she only replied selectively to our emails and texts. One such response was a weekly status note where she mentioned she was drafting a press release and wanted us to review it. I never saw the draft, and she claimed to be having email issues when I asked her for it. She then fell into a pattern of appearing to deliver work but claiming to suffer from technical issues. After two and a half weeks, I terminated the contract via email.
What is the team dynamic?
I only had contact with Pamela. Close to when we terminated our contract, she CC'd a group mailing list, which made it look like she had a broader team. During the procurement process, she said she was an independent consultant. We spoke on the phone both before and after I sent the termination notice and I asked her to put us in touch with someone else at her firm. She agreed, but then we didn’t hear from her again. There may be other people there, but my gut feeling is that it was a ruse. I don’t want to make any assumptions, however, so the situation could be different.
How did you come to work with Korrelation?
We primarily looked on LinkedIn for people who were second connections to either myself or someone on my team. We prefer reaching out to people cold, and Pamela was one of the people who responded. Before engaging, she made it seem like she had quite a bit of traction with various news agencies including radio, TV, newspapers, and magazines. During our introductory conversation, she told us that she’d drummed up quite a lot of interest already, and that people were responding to our different campaigns. We felt that contracting her—given her assertiveness before the fact—would get us featured in many of the places she claimed to be connected to.
We did reach out to her references, including the CEO of a company she claimed to be currently consulting with. The CEO was caught off guard because they’d released Pamela from her contract a year and a half ago. From a methodology standpoint, we set ourselves up for failure. We rejected several companies that had wonderful references and great reviews on Clutch. We realize now that people who are good at their jobs rely on Clutch reviews to vouch for their work during the procurement process.
How much have you invested with them?
Our initial contract was for $1000, for November. We discussed a 13-month retainer but decided to carve out one month to start. We paid half the retainer in the beginning, but we received nothing in return. We asked for a refund and told her that we wouldn’t chase her for it. We’ve chalked this relationship up to a learning experience and now want to move on without any conflict.
What is the status of this engagement?
We signed on in November 2018 and worked together for two and a half weeks before terminating the contract. We didn’t have any written contact after notifying her we were ending the engagement.