[thelist] Help a journalist: What do you wish your clients understood?

Esther Schindler esther at bitranch.com
Tue Jul 25 09:58:52 CDT 2006

Hi, folks. I'm senior writer and editor at the IT Business Network  
(http://www.itbusinessnet.com), and I'm working on an article for  
which I'd like your help.

Anyone who runs a business shares certain kinds of frustrations, from  
slow-paying clients (who don't let that keep them from expecting you  
to drop everything to serve their slightest whim), to the effort to  
keep up with one's chosen technology at the same time you need to  
generate billable hours. However, there are always unique challenges  
for each profession, and at the moment I'm looking at professional  
web developers and web designers.

In particular: what misconceptions do your clients seem to share?  
What wrong expectations do they have, particularly when they first  
approach your company? Are there differences between different  
categories of client (i.e. when the marketing staff approaches you,  
they expect one thing, but if an IT person makes the call, they want  
something else)? In other words: give me a list of things that you  
wish your client knew or understood BEFORE he or she picked up the  
phone. And tell me why those items are on the list. It's the "why"  
that is always the most interesting. Anecdotes are especially  
welcome. After all, everybody likes to hear about horror stories,  
especially when they can learn from someone else's experience.

I'm hoping to turn this into advice for companies and IT departments  
who are considering acquiring the services of professional web people  
(that would be YOU). Depending on the nature of the responses I get,  
over the next few days (I'm hoping to write this article by the end  
of the week), it may become "7 things you should know before you  
redesign your web site," or it might turn into something similar to  
an earlier article, "Can DBAs and Programmers Ever Get  
Along?" (http://enterpriseapps.itbusinessnet.com/articles/ 

Ideally, I'd like to quote you in the article. If that's okay, please  
be sure to  let me know (privately, if necessary) your real name,  
title, affiliation, and geographic location (i.e. "Esther Schindler  
is a web designer at Foo Corporation in Scottsdale, Arizona --  
www.whatever.com"). If you can't be quoted directly, let me know  
that, too; if your remarks are pithy enough, we can find a way around  
it ("Esther is a web designer at a west coast design firm").

Anyway, feel free to respond here -- I'm sure the topic will be of  
interest to others! -- but if you prefer, you can write to me  
privately at esthers at digitalmedianet.com.

Esther Schindler
senior writer and site editor, IT Business Network

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