The other day a client forwarded an email call-to-arms from his president urging Marketing, PR – and by extension us, I guess – to develop a nugget that best described the company’s “differentiators,” to win customers’ hearts and minds. “I have a better idea,” I fired back. “Let’s ask him. He’s the leader of this outfit and ought to know.”
I’m fairly certain that no member in good standing of a professional PR organization or advocate of the Stockholm Accords – you know, people with finely tuned sensitivities –would ever talk to a client like that, certainly not in response to a request from the CEO. Only an ex-journalist would be so brash. Having spent much of our careers wading through the guff churned out by government agencies, corporate PR departments, marketing dweebs and the leaders of both the free and less-than-free worlds, journalists have a low BS threshold and get down to business quickly. Continue reading
An old joke in the PR business is that all reporters hate PR people – until they need a job. Then you’re the first person they call. Public relations would seem like a natural extension of the skills you acquire in journalism — writing, news judgment, editing and graphic design.
However, the PR business has taken a huge hit over the last few years, and many laid-off journos are finding that those PR positions, which they hoped to move into, are just not there anymore.
When the economy plunged into a recession one of the first areas that companies cut back on was marketing and public relations. In addition, when business credit dried up many companies simply could not afford the monthly retainer for a PR firm. And for the few PR jobs that do exist, journos are having to compete against recent college grads, who are often more attractive because they are cheaper to hire. In many cases these jobs have been turned into non-paying internship positions. (That is a whole column itself.) Continue reading
When I read PR Week’s Industry backs controversial campaign aimed at cutting PR spam, posted on January 29, I had a #HeadHitsDesk moment. This battle, this debate, this controversy will never end, will it?
To sum up this piece by Gemma O’Reilly, a number of PR professionals have endorsed a campaign to end the spamming of journalists. My first thought? Kiss-ups. If you really want to do your part in not spamming journalists, don’t do it yourself or put outrageous demands on your lower-level staff to land an unattainable number of media placements (note: this is not me accusing any of those PR people backing this initiative. I have no idea how they individually operate themselves, their businesses or their staff. Rather this is a call to all PR pros.) Continue reading