Fighting Fear: Why So Critical

Having worked as, with, and for PR executives for some 30+ years, I’m amazed at how many of us are driven by fear. If you’re one of them, it’s time to start fighting fear.

Here are some of the expressions I hear:

“I could never ask my client for that.”

“I could never ask my supervisor for that.”

“I could never ask my managers to do that.”

In full candor, I’ll admit that in my distant past, I said such things and thought such thoughts. But with time, experience and coaching (just as every therapist needs a therapist, in my opinion every good coach needs a coach,) I’ve become pretty good at fighting fear.

Here are four reasons why fighting fear is a critical step in achieving success in this business:

1) You’ll Be More Persuasive With Clients. You think it’s tough to be in communications in 2014? I think it’s as tough or tougher to be a client. But that creates a great opportunity for you. I’ve always said clients want Five Cs from their public relations professionals: Competence, Clarity, Consistency, (more frequent) Communications, and something they might not realize they want, and desperately: Confidence! Imagine how much more likely your clients would be to respect and implement your counsel if you exuded it.

2) You’ll Grow The Business. We’re selling programs that might cost clients from $50,000 to over $1,000,000. Do you think you can succeed in getting your clients to write checks for these amounts if you’re emanating even an iota of fear? As I’ve often told my agency clients and friends,”Fear is not a solid business development strategy!”

3) You’ll Be A More Effective Leader. Think about the most successful leaders,whether from PR, business, government, or social movements. One skill they all bring in large amounts is courage. Bravery attracts followers to leaders, like metal filings to magnets. This is always important, but particularly so during tough times.

4) You’ll Be Moved Into Action. When we’re caught up in our fears, it has a negative affect on our worldview, and clouds our judgement. Worse, it prevents us from taking action. I was talking recently with a fellow entrepreneur, who was growing her business substantially, due to her formidable talents. “I don’t know if I can handle much more growth. I’m worried I might not be able to deliver on quality” she said. Clearly, fear was in command, and I told her so. “Don’t think about what you might not be able to do, because you can’t build an action plan around that. Instead, imagine how you might be able to sustain that growth, while maintaining the quality that’s driven your business to this point, and build your plan around that.” I sensed her change in energy over the phone.

In my next post on this topic, I’ll share my thoughts on how to start fighting fear. Until then, I wish you success in fighting fear.



Ken Jacobs

I’m the principal of Jacobs Communications Consulting, which helps public relations and communications agencies and organizations grow and manage business, and enhance staff performance, leadership and communications skills.We do so via consulting, training, and coaching. To learn more, please click on the “Jacobs Communications Consulting” tab on the top.

Lisa Gerber
Lisa Gerber

Fear and worry seem to be constant companions. I have successfully battled a number of unproductive emotions, but not these. So I look forward to your tips next week!!! :)


  1. […] In part one of this series on fighting fear, I discussed why it’s so critically important to do so. In this post, I’ll share some tips on how to do so. […]