The problem with PR agency HR

Loren Pomerantz, a partner at PR agency Combined Forces, is performing what can only be described as a public PR service.  She’s writing a column over at MediaBistro that addresses some of the myths that surround PR.

In her first column she raises an issue close to my heart, namely why in the majority of PR agencies is media relations merely a stepping stone to senior management?

“The way it works in most agency settings is that the more senior you get the less contact you have with reporters and editors. These higher-level people�the ones with the intelligence and experience�spend most of their time managing staff, clients, budgets, and strategies.”

Now before you start giving out, I know a lot of agencies don’t follow this practice, but in my experience it is the norm.  I myself remember gazing up the organizational structure and longing for when I wouldn’t have to “do” media relations.

Now that I’m older and more boring, I realize I was mistaken.  Good media relations skills are a blessing. It’s not something to be given up for spreadsheets and meetings.  The ability to work closely with journalists serves many purposes, but first and foremost it means you have a connection with the coalface.

Good media relations should be cherished by PR companies, not used as boot camp training. I know this first hand, I went away and came back.  And I found I missed it.