There’s a joke among the Ritz community that if clients get out of line, Molly Watson will slap them.
It originated years ago, when Molly accompanied a client who was presenting at the annual meeting for the American Society of Clinical Oncology. It was a swampy, mid-summer day in New Orleans, and as the client was chatting with a small group in the hallway after the presentation, a mosquito landed on his cheek. Without thinking, Molly reached up to swat it.
“To this day, I still can’t believe I did that!” Molly says. “From there, the myth grew of me slapping clients into shape.”
The incident only deepened Molly’s already strong relationship with the client. For the agency, the story has become a point of pride—a metaphor for how the Ritz team believes in being truthful and ensuring that clients always know where they stand.
Truthfulness and strong relationships are just two of the many reasons Molly has been a member of the Ritz team for all 20 years. She also exemplifies the senior-level expertise that the agency was founded to provide.
“I can count on Molly to tell me even the hardest things to hear. That’s rare enough, but she’s that extraordinary person who sticks around to help make things better—for her coworkers and for her clients,” says Elisabeth. “As she has honed her ability to assess a situation and provide smart insights over her career, her skill with clients has made her a trusted counselor for situations ranging from product launches to crises.”
The concept of a virtual agency was unique in 2003, when pharmaceutical and healthcare clients still expected to meet with huge teams in New York offices. However, Molly recognized right away that flexibility offered an opportunity to support clients at any time of day. She fondly recalls late nights on the phone with a client, working together to figure out a new computerized system in preparation for a pharmaceutical roundtable (PRT) review.
“It was a bonding experience on many levels,” Molly says. While the average agency relationship has fallen to just three years, she notes Ritz has maintained clients for as long as 15 years because of partnerships like that.
“Ritz has always been about doing the best work you possibly can, and having strong client relationships that are built not only on solid business principles and doing the right thing for the client but also on respecting one another,” Molly says. “To this day, 20 years later, I love my clients. Not everybody can say that.”