Lately, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend…. people who think because they blog, because they’ve written family newsletters or company e-mails to subscription lists, they are “in PR.” Why is this disturbing? In the real world, good PR is hard work. It takes technical skill, marketing insight, network juice and a savvy business sense to perform consistently in the field. The problem is that so many PR customers out there think the performance achieved by the people serving them “in PR” is acceptable.
Where is the disconnect? I’ve seen scads of “learn as I go” approaches to PR utilizing social media channels, in particular. Against all odds, I hope it stops. Badly or mindlessly promoting a client to a scattered, disinterested audience via spraying social media sites with links gives the industry, the client and the so-called practitioner all a bad name. People new to public relations need to take the time to read, learn, study the ethics, guidelines and rules of PR before making very public mistakes.
Mistakes happen… we all make them… but the stakes are very high these days for people entering the public relations field. Publicly sharing your learning process isn’t good for your clients or your career. Public relations and Twitter, etc., are a beautiful marriage of story and channel distribution when used thoughtfully.
I’ve been working on this story for the past week. It’s a great story, really… and I tweeted and FB’d the link to the story to my followers, since many of them are either in the biz or are local and might therefore enjoy the story regardless. I’ve been way busier though, on the phone, sending personal e-mails, personal DMs, etc., to those media contacts I thought would be most likely to love the story. That’s PR in the real world. No short cuts, no quick-and-dirty-career-switch, no waking up one day and deciding to “be in PR.”
And I’m done now. Am I overreacting?