Hands up… all is not well in the world of Public Relations

Earlier this week Forrester analyst Josh Bernoff published a plea to PR professionals to take a stand against unprofessional practices.


Compared to many previous rants on this issue and the shoddy practices we’re all aware of, his plea is rational and completely fair.

If you work in Public Relations, then you should passionately care about the industry’s image – and the damage caused by silly people.

The problem is that there’s so much of it.

Please note that I’m not including simple mistakes in this.  Mistakes happen, that’s why they’re called mistakes. Berating someone for a simple error makes me extremely uncomfortable, we all make them.

But unprofessional, lazy or stupid conduct should be called out.

I write posts in this blog infrequently.  It’s read even less frequently. Yet I am, through the power of online databases – and lazy PR people – inundated with irrelevant pitches every single day. I am convinced some of these databases must have a “spam anyone with a (suspected) pulse” filter.

Of course I also get the odd, relevant, well written pitch, which just makes me feel guilty that they wasted good time on me Smile.

So let’s keep calling it out and hopefully people will start to learn. Don’t hold your breath though….

Additional thought: Arthur Yann of the PRSA gets a star for responding to Josh’s post. However, although the PRSA is an organization focused on supporting its membership, something I think is very important, I do think it’s a little ironic that only members can view their Social Media Policy.

Update: Arthur has kindly been in touch to point out that the Social Media Policy is actually freely available with registration!  Thanks Arthur.


4 thoughts on “Hands up… all is not well in the world of Public Relations

  1. Tom — thanks for your post on this, and for furthering the dialogue about unethical and unprofessional practices in the public relations industry. PRSA’s social media policy *is* free to members and non-members alike, although non-members are required to register. If anyone takes issue with that, they can email me directly, and I’ll be happy to share a copy with them.

    Thanks again for the post.



  2. What’s the difference between an advertiser and a editor these days anyway? Journalism is what’s unethical…have some balls and call that out for once.

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