Post 28, 2009: I do not hate PR

At a Christmas party tonight, a fellow journalist related to me an incident in which a PR approached him and said they did not want to talk to him, as he and I are, in the PR’s opinion, haters of PR.

For the record, I do not hate PR.

I do, however, resent the fact that much PR is practiced thoughtlessly and in ways that frustrates me, wastes my time or hinders my ability to do my job. I resent this bitterly for two reasons:

  1. Many of my encounters with PR people represent known worst practices that the PR industry and senior practitioners repudiate
  2. Basic mistakes continue to be made with horrible regularity

I am not the only journalist that thinks this way. If you ever get a chance to be a fly on the wall when journos get together, you’ll hear very similar complaints to those mentioned on this blog.

I am, however, one of a few very small number of journalists to blog about their feelings.

But not for long.

I’ve been mining this vein for a while now and have become tired of doing so, largely due to point 2 above which shows I am not having much impact.

So at the end of the year I shall take this blog in a new direction.

But before I go, I will exhaust my thinking on PR before moving on to some new ideas I want to explore. I will continue to document my experience of a working journalist’s relationship with PR in other fora.

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2 thoughts on “Post 28, 2009: I do not hate PR

  1. “I am, however, one of a few very small number of journalists to blog about their feelings.

    But not for long.

    I’ve been mining this vein for a while now and have become tired of doing so, largely due to point 2 above which shows I am not having much impact.

    So at the end of the year I shall take this blog in a new direction.”

    In my personal opinion, that would be a loss to the PR folk out there. I’ve certainly learned a lot from reading your posts as well as working with you to develop stories. Feedback is important: even if it serves to highlight the inadequacies of the PR person or client in question, in the end it will build towards something that both journos and PRs are looking for – a better story.

  2. When I first started out in PR, I was given a media list and press release to send out. I was instructed to take your name off the media list. “Never send Simon a press release, he hates them. There will be hell to pay.”

    I thought to myself, who is this Simon Sharwood person and what was his deal? Why do PRs fear him?

    So I read the blog, I read the website.
    1. Basically, don’t pitch stuff you don’t know anything about.
    2. Don’t proffer news that is not news
    3. Pick up the phone and introduce yourself

    Sounded pretty commonsense to me. I rang you, we chatted. We’ve worked together ever since. God forbid we’ve even joked about stuff.

    Clearly you hate PR people.

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