Managing Client Expectations

It’s October. This time last year, many of us in Red Sox Nation were living the dream. The Yankees were sent packing for the off-season and the Boston Red Sox were en route to winning the World Series.

This year, the Red Sox, who many sports pundits thought could be the first to repeat as world champions since the Yankees won three straight from 1998 – 2000, limped out of September in third place in their division without so much as a passing glance at a wild card berth.

Despite a rough spring training, Red Sox leadership was happy to fan the flame that burned in the hearts of the Red Sox faithful, but by the end of May, the expectations of repeat greatness were slipping away.

Which brings us to managing expectations—and clients.

In public relations, it’s one thing to believe in the cause and exude confidence, but it’s quite another to lead a client down the garden path of their grand expectations that stand a slim chance of being met. You don’t have to be a naysayer, but you don’t have to be a cheerleader either for bad ideas. (See: Red Sox see no need for a closer.)

If a client thinks a minor piece of news warrants a “media event,” but in fact, it won’t even raise an eyebrow, a knowledgeable PR professional is going to speak up and do it constructively. Savvy clients will listen as alternatives are offered up that lay out the desired outcomes. Instead of a news conference, which likely will lead to an embarrassing concert of crickets, perhaps that minor nugget of information could be pitched to a beat reporter as part of a larger story that includes other stakeholders. The story is covered, the client is featured, everyone wins.

Maybe the client wants to launch a new product in time for a high-volume buying season, but all the crucial pieces are not quite ready. The PR pro in the room will explain the long-term consequences of launching a great product but without the support of an up-to-speed sales team or a consistent supply chain.

The expectations game can be difficult to play. It’s hard to walk the line between denying clients what they want yet delivering what they expect. There needs to be an understanding that if all the elements needed for success are not in place, it’s nearly impossible to bring the client a win.

Or put another way, you may have the highest payroll in Major League Baseball, but if you don’t have good pitching, you’re not going to win.

Felicia Knight is President of The Knight Canney Group and is the Maine representative for PRConsultants Group. She is a veteran PR professional with a background in journalism and government policy. She also has unconditional love for the Boston Red Sox.

Volunteers of America Northern New England Joins VOA National in Effort to Address Moral Injury

VOANNE will host two-day seminar on moral injury in Augusta, September 19 & 20   

 Volunteers of America Northern New England is part of a national effort by Volunteers of America to raise awareness of and treat moral injury. Volunteers of America national is launching an ad campaign on moral injury in New York’s Times Square to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day, tomorrow September 10th. Launch of the campaign, titled “The War Inside” will include video on the NASDAQ and Reuters digital boards for the first 10 minutes of every hour on Sept. 10.

Locally, Volunteers of America Northern New England, which is based in Brunswick, will hold a two-day seminar on treating moral injury. The seminar, titled Moral Injury, Pathways to Recovery, will be held at

The Senator Inn

284 Western Avenue, Augusta, ME

September 19, 2019

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

September 20, 2019

9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It will be led by Dr. Rita Brock, a foremost authority and researcher on treating moral injury, and will feature sessions with Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, Rev. Dr. Linda Mercadante, and Mr. Jesse Estrin, all of whom have extensive experience working in the moral injury realm.

“There is an urgency to raising awareness on moral injury,” said Richard Wayman Hooks the CEO of Volunteers of America Northern New England. “From military veterans to those struggling with substance use disorder to victims of domestic abuse, we recognize that there are significant numbers of people suffering and Volunteers of America is here to help. Our seminar is aimed at those who are trying to help and treat people dealing with moral injury. Mental health workers, law enforcement, social workers, clergy, and veterans’ service workers—all will gather vital information that will greatly aid their efforts.”

Volunteers of America has characterized moral injury as “a war inside.” The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs defines moral injury as “a psychological harm resulting from either (1) acting, failing to prevent, or witnessing actions that violate an individual’s deepest values and principles, or from (2) betrayal by a trusted authority figure in a high-stakes situation.” While moral injury first emerged in research on military veterans, anyone who works in high-stakes situations or who has endured trauma can experience it.

The effects of moral injury are pervasive throughout society and contribute to homelessness, self-harm including suicide, rage, addiction, compulsive overwork and/or depression. Unlike some causes of distress, moral injury is not a mental illness. It is an existential crisis in identity and meaning because of devastating life circumstances and it can happen at any age. Fortunately, recovery is possible. Volunteers of America has stepped up to assist in the recovery for thousands suffering across the U.S.

“The first step in recovery of moral injury is recognition and understanding it,” said Rita Brock, Ph.D., founding director of the Shay Moral Injury Center at Volunteers of America. The center is named for Jonathan Shay, a medical doctor and clinical psychiatrist best known for his work with post-traumatic stress disorder who first introduced the concept of moral injury. Brock leads Volunteers of America’s efforts to identify and treat moral injury as part of its service programs and is eager to lead the seminar in Augusta. “Some think that moral injury is the same as PTSD,” said Brock. “While they can share some symptoms, they’re very different conditions and treating moral injury the same as PTSD can actually worsen the condition.”

A noted theologian, Brock was the founding director of the Soul Repair Center at Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University, where she was also a research professor of theology and culture. She is an author of multiple books on moral injury and is a leading national expert on moral injury in combat veterans.

For more information on Volunteers of America Northern New England’s seminar, go to or to see the national campaign, go to

About Volunteers of America Northern New England

At Volunteers of America Northern New England, we serve the people of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont with the promise to reach out and uplift the human condition and provide opportunity for individual and community involvement.

About Volunteers of America

Volunteers of America is a national, nonprofit, faith-based organization dedicated to helping those in need live healthy, safe and productive lives. Since 1896, our ministry of service has provided compassionate care to a variety of groups, including veterans, seniors, people with disabilities, at-risk youth, men and women returning from prison, homeless individuals and families, those recovering from addictions and many others. Through hundreds of human service programs, including housing and health care, Volunteers of America helps almost 1.5 million people in over 400 communities. Our work touches the mind, body, heart and ultimately the spirit of those we serve, integrating our deep compassion with highly effective programs and services. For more information about Volunteers of America, visit


Concerned Citizens Announce Statewide Effort to Protect Maine’s Traditional Fishing Heritage

Protect Maine's Fishing Heritage, Crystal Canney, Maine Lobstering Industry, Maine Lobstering,

(Portland, Maine) — A group of citizens who have been working to ensure continued access to Maine’s oceans has formed a new coalition Protect Maine’s Fishing Heritage.  The group has been active in advocating for lobstermen who are losing acres of fishing grounds to aquaculture leases in some parts of the state.  The organization also supports Maine residents who are concerned about losing access to the ocean for recreational usage.

Currently, the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) grants 99% of all licenses and leases for aquaculture in Maine waters. Protect Maine’s Fishing Heritage will be proposing legislation to address the following:

  • Anyone including residents, out of state residents, businesses and corporations can own 1000 acres of the ocean in 100-acre increments.
  • Protect Maine’s Fishing Heritage believes DMR needs a better siting process that looks for the least impactful site location.
  • Aquaculture leases can be transferred without the benefit of a public hearing to individuals, businesses or out of state corporations.
  • Aquaculture leases can be held for 20 years for the sole use of one person, business or corporation.

Spokesperson Crystal Canney said, “We need to protect the lobstering industry. This has been an incredibly difficult summer and you can add aquaculture as the next threat to an industry already under fire. Licenses and leases are approved almost 100% of the time despite public outcry, testimony from lobstermen, fishermen and those who live near and recreate on the water. This

group is asking for the help of Maine legislators to take a harder look at what has happened in the last few years around extensive aquaculture growth, increased lease size, longer terms and the ability to transfer leases without a public hearing. We want to co-exist not compete with the aquaculture industry but we will never believe trading lobster jobs for aquaculture jobs is good for the state of Maine.  The economics just don’t bear it out. Maine’s landings value for lobster are close to 500 million and the total for aquaculture including farm-raised salmon is 71 million. That is not economic development. We need sensible legislation so both can co-exist and that is not what we have in Maine right now.”

Earlier this year, concerned citizens around the state expressed a desire to take action regarding lease size among other rules changes with a citizen’s petition. The Department of Marine Resources denied the citizens petition.

Across the country, in-water aquaculture is a serious topic of conversation and leaders are asking the same questions – how do we do it right to protect the ocean. In North Carolina recently the legislature approved a test pilot that included experimental sites of 50 acres in designated zones in order to avoid some of the issues we are seeing in Maine. Again, in Maine, you can lease up to 1,000 acres of the ocean per person, business or corporation.

Canney said, “The stories we hear from lobstermen and people who are impacted by leases are the same. They attend hearings but regardless of input the majority of leases are granted anyway. While DMR may be following the laws on the books it’s clear there needs to be a change. We are prepared to help move that forward.”

 Protect Maine's Fishing Heritage, Crystal Canney, Maine Lobstering Industry, Maine Lobstering,




Find us on social media:

Instagram: @ProtectMaine

Twitter: @maine_protect



Protect Maine’s Fishing Heritage

Crystal Canney, Spokesperson

207 615 5968



Lobstermen under industry pressure from all angles, call for the preservation of coastal communities and their livelihood

July 21, 2019 |Stonington, ME – Lobstermen from Machias to Boothbay Harbor rallied on the Stonington Commercial Fish Pier to draw greater attention to the issues facing the survival of their industry and the livelihoods of coastal Maine communities.

Maine Lobsterman, Stonington, Maine
Lobstermen from Machias to Boothbay Harbor rallied on the Stonington Commercial Fish Pier to draw greater attention to the issues facing the survival of their industry and the livelihoods of coastal Maine communities.

Lobsterman Julie Eaton led off the day saying, “NOAA knows that not one Right Whale has been proven to have been entangled in Maine rope in many years and the new proposed regulations would only cause extreme danger to our lobstermen. We are the first line of protection to the marine mammals of all types and had much rather work on sensible solutions that work for everyone. Between the proposed new regulations for the Right Whale, a bait shortage and the threat of aquacultures leases that could allow a single person sole use of 1000 acres of our fishing grounds, these are dark times for Maine’s lobstermen. We are hoping that our state and federal politicians will hear our plea and stand by us and our coastal communities.”

Eaton added if lobstermen do not get support and the industry suffers the impact will be much larger, “Here’s the deal, if we can’t make a living then we can’t buy vehicles, we don’t fix our homes which impacts contractors, we don’t spend as much at the grocery store. When a large community such as this with more than 4800 lobster license holders is impacted the ripple effect will be felt far and wide.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is likely to get an earful from lobstermen at upcoming hearings in August to discuss the Right Whale issue. Many testifying at the hearings have demonstrated concerns that more was not done sooner to protect the lobster industry.

Over the last few months, the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) has held hearings up and down the coast and, last week, Governor Janet Mills sent an open letter to members of the lobster industry conveying her solidarity with them.

Governor Janet Mills attended the rally saying, “Maine’s lobster industry is a critical pillar of our state’s economy, with thousands of commercial harvesters and dealers supporting their families, breathing life into their communities, providing jobs, and helping sustain a treasured way of life,” said Governor Mills. “As Governor, I will always defend our lobster industry. which is why I have directed Commissioner Keliher to evaluate a risk reduction target for Maine that is commensurate to any actual risk posed by the lobster industry. We are committed to pursuing solutions based on sound science that protect both lobstermen and Right Whales.”

Senator Susan Collins, Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden attended as well.

“Maine’s iconic lobster fishery supports the livelihoods of 4,800 licensed lobstermen and women and more than 10,000 additional Mainers who work within the industry,” said Senator Collins.  “The challenges facing our lobster industry have always transcended politics.  I am working with my colleagues in the Maine Delegation, lobstermen and women, state officials, and all stakeholders to find a solution that ensures a strong future for the lobster industry and reflects reality in the Gulf of Maine.”

Representative Chellie Pingree said, “The Right Whale population needs our help. I am concerned however that NOAA’s one-size-fits-all risk reduction tool may not be the best fit for Maine’s lobster industry, and could potentially endanger the lives and livelihoods of Maine lobstermen,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (ME-01). “Before we ask them to make such significant and costly changes, we need more information about the risk factors to Right Whales to ensure that reducing lines will actually keep them from harm. Protecting our oceans and the sea life that inhabit them is one of my biggest priorities in Congress, but this regulation, and all solutions need to be reassessed to ensure the safety of those putting food on our tables.”

Representative Jared Golden said, “I was proud to stand alongside Maine lobstermen in Stonington today. The new NOAA regulations could put many Maine lobstermen out of business without a guarantee that any right whales would be saved. It is important to Maine communities and the lobster industry that we continue to fight against unfair rules and inaccurate information. We’re calling for solutions based on sound science and good data that protect lobstermen and whales.”

Earlier this month, Congressman Golden, Senator Collins, Senator King, and Congresswoman Pingree wrote to the president asking him to intervene in the implementation of new regulations on Maine lobstermen.

To read the letter click here.




Poland Spring Associates Provide a Helping Hand for Their Neighbors This Holiday Season

Poland Spring, Poland Spring Water, Poland Spring Water Maine
Community organizations and residents in Poland, Hollis, Kingfield, Fryeburg, Denmark, and northern Maine receive assistance through associate-driven efforts

POLAND SPRING, Maine, December 20, 2018 – Poland Spring associates from the Poland, Hollis, and Kingfield bottling facilities helped spread holiday cheer in their communities this season by supporting local families in need.

“Each year, our team of dedicated associates goes above and beyond to support local charities in their communities to help families have a brighter holiday,” said Heather Printup, Community Relations Manager for Poland Spring. “Poland Spring associates don’t do this because they have to; they do this because they understand the importance of giving back and being good neighbors.”

In Poland, associates donated a total of 40 turkeys to the Lifesprings program and the Gray Food Pantry. They also fulfilled the holiday wishes of five local families through the Giving Tree program at Poland Community School. Additionally, Poland Spring held a food drive to benefit the Regional School Unit 16 (RSU 16) Mannafed Backpack Program, along with a water donation and clothing drive to benefit the Poland Food Bank.

Associates at Poland Spring’s Hollis facility donated 120 turkeys and two truckloads of food to support Thanksgiving meal service at the Hollis Food Pantry, and continued the season of giving with the purchase of gifts to help two families in need through the Town of Hollis.

At Poland Spring’s central Maine facility in Kingfield, associates participated in the annual Giving Tree Program, which provides winter clothing and toys to children in need from Kingfield Elementary School. Associates also continued to provide meals to senior citizens through the Bridging the Gap program, which associates have done each month this year.

These efforts are just a few among many in which Poland Spring is involved in helping to make the holidays brighter for local families in need. Other noteworthy charitable efforts in which Poland Spring is actively engaged, include donating $5,000 to Fryeburg’s Community Giving Tree program. These funds helped provide winter clothing to families in the Maine School Administrative District 72 communities of Fryeburg, Denmark, Lovell, Stow, Sweden, Brownfield, and Stoneham. Poland Spring also supported heating assistance programs benefitting thousands of residents in the towns of Lincoln, Passadumkeag, Enfield, Howland, and Denmark.

“We are grateful for Poland Spring’s generosity and support for residents of our community who are most in need of help,” said Jim McKay from the Hollis Food Pantry. “Thanks to their efforts, many families here and elsewhere throughout the state will have a better holiday season.”


About Poland Spring

Established in 1845, Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water has invested in Maine and created jobs using an abundant, renewable resource. The brand, part of Nestlé Waters North America Inc., operates three Maine bottling plants in Poland, Hollis and Kingfield. Additionally, Poland Spring maintains spring sources in Fryeburg, Poland, Dallas Plantation, Poland Spring, Pierce Pond Township, Kingfield, Denmark, Hollis and Lincoln, Maine. Poland Spring also:

  • Employs nearly 900 full-time and seasonal workers across the state, contributing nearly $49 million to the economy in annual payroll;
  • Spends over $135 million directly with other Maine companies each year; and
  • Invested over $7 million in community giving since 2000 to support schools, local non-profits, fire and rescue, environmental conservation, and many other local and statewide causes.