Why PR Pisses Me Off!!
Photo Credit: MIENKE KLEIN
Anyone that knows me knows that I rarely rant, its a waste of my time and rarely gets anything sorted but this week I have bit of pet peeve that I would like to get off my chest.
Over the past few months I feel as though my inbox has been completely violated by the countless numbers of PR emails I seem to be receiving everyday. I want to be one of those people that just deletes them, but I hate being impolite so I naively reply to every single one. However I am beginning to lose patience, firstly there are some (not many, but some) PR emails I am interested in. My job is to look for interesting content for our readers so if something is of interest I am going to want a piece of it. I will often email back asking for more information on a particular client, however this week I received this as a reply…
“Hi, Can you get all this information from the website or Facebook? I don’t have the time to research. Thanks, Samantha”
Say What? So let me get this straight, you are being employed to secure coverage for your client, yet you know nothing more than what’s in the press release? Well I am sorry but in that case I am not sold, if you don’t want to know anything more about your client, why would I?
Since becoming a blogger I have to admit my opinion of PR and marketing consultants has somewhat diminished. I understand completely that not all are like this but I can only base my opinion on those I have dealt with in the last two years and there have been a fair few.
Not so long ago I was approached by a PR and Marketing consultant asking for coverage on two of his clients. I had heard of both of them before, one was a stationery company and the other a wedding planning app. They both had good reputations and had something I think our readers would have been interested in, so I agreed to both. The consultant then asked if it would be possible to get two sponsored posts for the price of one as he felt he had done us a favour by introducing us two of his clients?
My reply to him was this…
“would you walk into a shop and pick up two TV’s head on over to the checkout and state to the cashier that you were only willing to pay for the one TV and expect the other to be free just because you were interested in the two?”
His reply was…
“well no, but you can’t blame a man for trying?”
Well no I can’t blame you for trying but that is very insulting! Now you might think this is far fetched but after receiving that reply I (politely) told him I no longer thought his clients would be of interest to my readers. Why? Because in my mind any PR and Marketing consultant is the face of their client, after that comment I judged him and his professionalism which in turn made me judge his clients. Not only that, I believe it is crucial that you advertise your products in the right places, anyone that is haggling obviously doesn’t think it is worth it, so why advertise with us?
I know press releases have their uses and I actually know lots of PR and Marketing consultants, one being one of my closest friends and Bespoke Bride advisor who has done an amazing job helping us, but my plea today is for a new way of marketing. Why not work on building meaningful relationships with the people that you want to cover your stories, make sure you 100% believe that the people you are pitching too are the people that you want coverage from, otherwise you are wasting everyones time.
Stop being so generic! If you have done your research, which I think all PR agents should have to do, then you should only really have a small list of people to send your press release too. Take some time to pitch in a more personal way, stating how you believe your business, product etc would fit well into that magazine or blog. Good product placement is what gets the best results not quantity!
So tell me what are your thoughts on PR? I want to hear from everyone, PR agents, clients, bloggers and journalists, lets start a new PR revolution it would be so much more fun!
Much Bespoke Love