In a recent article, the Huffington Posts says of the PR industry, “Public relations can be a valuable way for businesses and experts to establish credibility, raise their profiles, create awareness and find new customers.”
Why, thank you, Huffington Post!
(I just hope you aren’t buttering us up to spend the rest of the article dissing us…)
It then goes on, “However, with public relations being an art and not a science and with the landscape changing so much over the past few years, many PR pros today have completely jumped the shark.”
Darn it – just when I thought HuffPo was giving me the love I so richly deserve and want – BAM!
Got me again, HuffPo.
Now, I am in no way contending that any of the “mistakes” PR pros have made and do make are wrong – pitching topics that a publication doesn’t cover, news-releasing people to death, going to quantity of media placements versus quality, et al.
I am, however, offering up a counterpoint I often share with my media counterparts.
It goes a little something like this…
Remember when you were 22 or 23?
Remember when you were learning on the job?
Remember when you made a – gasp – mistake?
Unlike media folks, we PR people don’t have editors. And while mentors and managers can review media lists, copy points and news releases, part of our job is to give our team members – both rookies and seasoned pros – the opportunity to learn through what could be called “mistakes.”
Heck, I remember my first year on the job I accidentally hit the “high priority” exclamation point button when sending out a basic calendar item – twice. It wasn’t 10 minutes before I got a five paragraph essay from one of those members of the media detailing why I needed to be burned alive for sending anything at all.
And you know what – it taught me to check my work. Then check it again. Then again.
It also taught me to develop relationships with media – real ones – so I can send off-the-wall ideas and the occasional exclamation-pointed email, and they understand.
We all make mistakes – all of us. I still do (darned fat fingers that are so bad at typing!!!).
Guess my point is…most of us PR types get it, and that is why we are so valuable to both our clients and our trusted media contacts. Just take a moment and try to get this back…we are also human, like you.
(Jumps off soapbox and returns to work)