|May 19, 2008|
|Pea-brained PR People Hurt What’s Left of Profession’s Good Image|
|By Kevin McCauley|
“Take down that article.”
“You don’t know what news is.”
“I can’t believe that you are in charge of the website.”
“You must have just gotten out of college.”
Those are some of the gems tossed via telephone at this blogger by a pea-brained PR executive who was mighty upset with a recent news item that I posted on the odwyerpr.com site. The beef: she did not want the information to be made public. I told her that was too bad. Since the info was correct and -- in my humble opinion -- newsworthy, it was going to stay on the site.
After nearly twenty years of covering the PR business, my biggest gripe with PR people is their “sense of ownership” of what goes on the site or in the O’Dwyer newsletter and magazine.
PR people should forge the closest ties possible with the media. But they also should understand that ultimately it is the reporters, editors and publishers who decide what is newsworthy and what is not.
After listening to the rants, I told my phone buddy that our conversation was going nowhere. She then demanded to speak to my boss, Jack O’Dwyer, who graciously got on the phone. He told her that we didn’t earn the respect of the PR profession by caving in to irate PR people. News is news. He then proceeded to pitch her a listing in the “O’Dwyer Directory of PR Firms,” saying it would be a good marketing tool for the firm. That didn’t go over too well.
This blogger believes in openness and full disclosure. The person remains nameless only because I don’t want to sabotage anyone’s career. And anyway, I don’t really know the individual. The phone call was our first meeting.
The relationship did not get off on the right foot.
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