How To Keep Business Conversations Professional


If you’re an agency team leader or corporate PR executive, then you’ve been there before. You’re in a client or partner meeting and everything is going so well…until a junior staffer adds a cringe-inducing comment. They, of course, have no idea there’s a problem with what was said, while the client is shooting you a look that says, “We’ll talk about this later.” And that’s the joy of being in PR. We have a lot of young professionals, eager to learn, eager to get in front of clients and partners—but who don’t have enough experience with business conversations to understand that they can be fraught with peril.

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  • Nicole L.

    I’ve heard these in meetings as well, and these tend to be mistakes made by junior staff…but I’ve done this for quite some time, and have heard jaw-dropping conversation topics raised in client meetings by SENIOR staff, including prostitutes as gifts. Junior staff aren’t the only ones guilty of this. It’s a good topic to raise, but let’s be fair. Instead of pinpointing particular groups or phrases, the better advice would be to tell people how to handle those awkward moments, no matter the level of the person who caused them.

  • Kim Ciesla

    Thanks for this post, Mr. Amberg. I really appreciate you sharing these tips!

  • Agree

    I agree with Nicole above. I am a young professional, and I think this article diminishes the unique enthusiasm and vigor a junior staffer brings to the table. Everyone experiences “foot in mouth,” even at the CEO level.