Monday, 30 March 2009

Name and shame?

I realise that my blog's been fairly work oriented of late. What with the new job and all, work's been firmly on my mind. Normal service (food, booze and films) will be resumed shortly.

In the meantime, I happened across this survey - a journalist and PR group which is asking the industry whether it's right to name and shame 'bad' PR people and journalists.

This happens a lot in our industry. Journalists, it would appear, are much quicker to blast bad PR than the other way around.As Emily points out, PR people need to stay on the right side of journalists, to get their clients covered, so it's rare that they'll burn bridges.

Admittedly there is a lot of bad PR out there - and it must be rather annoying for a journo to be asked incessantly whether they've received the piss-poor press release they deleted days ago.

But, as it's a universally accepted truth that journalists need PRs (yup, it's true)and, of course, the other way round - I'd suggest that it's bad form to name and shame the bad ones. Sure if you're a repeat offender, you're likely to get a bad name for yourself in the industry without being listed on some cantankerous blog-rant. That, in itself, should be enough of a deterrent for many. But everyone fucks up from time to time, so a little bit of leeway would be rather nice.

I think the crux of it, though, is that there's a big difference between bad PR and lazy PR. Lazy PR is spamming a list of journalists with uninteresting and irrelevant news - full of PR platitudes - to keep a client happy, knowing full well that it'll piss people off. Bad PR can be anything from a string of terminal errors to an ill advised mishap. If it's the latter, and it's a one-off, then I say it's the responsibility of the company to point it out in the nicest possible way and to help that person to learn. That way, we can all work in harmony.


@EmVicW said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
@EmVicW said...

I don't approve of it because its not a level playing field. Journos can bad mouth PRs with little repercussion - PR will still need to contact them if it wants the client in their mag.

A PR cannot bad mouth a journo without burning a bridge that may be required in future.

And PR agencies that bad mouth each other? Personally I rise above it and don't give the crap agencies the airtime.