25.9.09

Striking the Balance


I’ve just completed reading this – in my view – rather juvenile blog on the behaviour of some PR people. I’m not going to waste too much of this sunny Friday afternoon responding to a post that – unintelligent use of profane language aside – I could have read a thousand times before, but it does raise the gnawing question as to why so many PR people are making so many basic mistakes.

I've been on both sides of the PR/Journalist fence so I've seen both viewpoints firsthand. You can filter out a lot of the journalist bravado here – for a start, what percentage of trade papers, for example, is PR-led and generated compared to journalists doing the actual digging themselves? But one can’t detract from the fact that there’s still a lot of bad PR practice going on there and, alas, I think there’ll be a certain element of this that will always be with us.

To be successful and build up a reputation, it’s up to us to make sure we manage our clients so that we only issue targeted, relevant information (note I didn’t use the word ‘news’) and don’t pick up the phone to someone for whom our call would not be relevant.

3 comments:

  1. Great post. I would like to add a comment. Those who engage in PR bashing and typically find themselves oh-so-intelligent when doing it, should wake up to a) the phrase "don't shoot the messenger" and b) the fact they are just picking on the easiest target, rather than the real source of whatever angst they've been handed - which I'm pretty sure categorises them as bullies.

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  2. Quite right Chris. And the juvenile in question remains anonymous - what a coward. At least some of the other PR bashers, with justifiable gripes I'm sure, are prepared to stand up and say who they are!

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  3. Thanks, Jo

    I've been on both sides and as a young journo (as this guy must be) I was also 'vocal' in my opposition to some practices, but talk like 'all PRs should die' is neither constructive and would lead to the (further) decline of his own industry if it actually came to fruition!

    Therein lies a major problem - a lot of journalists don't work on the 'business side' of things and I've come across some really naive journalists in the past. One of which - in his 30s - said that he should have the right to talk directly to a CEO without going through 'needless' comms channels. I couldn't even be bothered to dignify the stupidity of his comment with a structured argument.

    We'll see hundreds of blogs like this ad infinitum.

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