Whitney Danhauer

Spin Sucks Question: Have You Ever Been Professionally Ghosted?

By: Whitney Danhauer | October 18, 2019 | 
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professionally ghostedWe’ve discussed being professionally ghosted here quite a bit lately.

Of course, it goes with the theme of Halloween and we can’t pass up that opportunity.

Laura Petrolino first wrote about ghosting from the client perspective. She covers the main reasons clients sometimes leave us hanging and what we can do to try and prevent that from happening.

She then followed up with an article about how we, ourselves, might be the reason clients ghost us and what we can do to avoid the situation.

When you’re inside your comfy little bubble, it may seem like you did everything right.

When in fact, you didn’t.

That, unfortunately, is most often a big part of the problem.

Me? I’m guilty of showing my hand too soon.

Giving Away Your Secrets

Years ago, I was approached by someone who wanted advice on how she could better utilize her content through social media.

My eyes lit up.

“I can answer this!” I thought, and we set up a meeting

Immediately I went on to tell her EVERYTHING I knew about content marketing and social media.

Would you like to take a guess at what happened next?

She excitedly nodded her head, scribbled down notes, and thanked me for my time.

She sashayed out the door and I never heard a peep from her again.

We all know where this is going.

I was professionally ghosted.

She took everything I told her and promptly learned to do it herself.

Why did she need me?

I had given her everything she needed right upfront.

That’s why for this week’s #SpinSucksQuestion we asked:

“What’s something you’ve done in the past to spook a client and make them ghost you, and what did you learn from the experience?”

When Clients Ghost But You’re the Reason

Our fearless leader was the first to respond and we cackled at her answer.

Why, Gini?

We’re still laughing about this.

Gini Dietrich:

We have a client who asked me to rewrite his bio. I took a couple of days to carefully craft it and then sent it over for his review. I waited very patiently for his response and, when it came, he said, “Have you recently hit your head?” You see, I wrote his bio in the form of The Jerk. The best part is he kept reading past, “I was born a poor black child” (he’s not) and didn’t think something was up.

Julia Brolin:

This actually happened last week! We do marketing for an iconic restaurant in central Minnesota. Everyone in the area knows it. The restaurant was just sold to another family and we urged the client to get ahead of the rumors and publish a statement. I sent the statement to the local outlets and they started getting calls, interview requests—AKA way more than they bargained for.

What I learned, even though you KNOW outlets will pick up the news, you have to put the client requests FIRST! They did not desire all the attention, and we should have listened to them because now they have a slightly bad taste in their mouth.

Rebecca Wright:

Recently, one of the data points in our campaign was incorrect according to the organization it was referencing. We mined the data from a government source, but my client received the organization’s email instead of me—and that, for sure, spooked them. I ran a transparent crisis email campaign with them, ensuring the client had a view of how I was working on the situation and what I would do or need from them to complete the dataset updates.

Who You Gonna Call (When You’re Professionally Ghosted)?

Unfortunately, the Ghostbusters won’t be any help in these particular situations, but we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to connect them to this post somehow.

You can, however, join our Spin Sucks community. If you have an issue with spooking clients or if you’re confused about why they’re ghosting you in the first place, the members of our community can help.

We have some of the brightest and best in the communications industry in there who are always willing to offer advice or commiserate with you on other headaches you’re dealing with.

Have you ever been professionally ghosted? Do you think you were the reason?

If so, answer in the comments! We’d love to hear what you learned from the experience.

Until next time!

About Whitney Danhauer


Whitney is living in Central Kentucky with her husband, Michael and her daughter, Evie Rose. She's an avid reader, an even more avid movie watcher, and loves nothing more than a well-placed pop culture reference. By day she writes about all things communications for Spin Sucks, by night she writes about whatever she wants. Her first novel, Good Riddance, was released in October of 2015.