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Why So Angry, PR Peeps?: Part 3
By: Mike Bush
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This is Part 3 of a four-part series, looking at the ways in which PR people are maybe driven a little crazy. Part 1 focused on the things our clients do, and Part 2 discussed our pet peeves with the media.

Again, I’m posting these without attribution (or commentary). I don’t want someone's (or my own) current clients or reporter colleagues to see something written by a flack and decide to fly off the handle. This wasn’t meant to be about flaming the fires…instead, it’s about catharsis.

Things vendors do to tick off PR people:
  • Media database companies that swear they have the most updated contacts and many of my long-term media contacts are not even on that company’s database.
  • Media database companies that charge the same high fees for their subscription services for a large PR firm as they do for a one-person PR business.
  • Wire service salespeople who see I did a press release on one service and add me to every marketing list on the planet sending emails, phone calls, texts, and every other conceivable communication trying to get me to switch vendors.
Things everyone else does that tick off PR people:
  • When new business prospects ask for lengthy proposals with your creative ideas and do not hire you, or take the time to tell you that your agency was not selected.
  • When aforementioned prospects use your ideas without hiring your agency or you as a consultant. Some former clients confided in me that they liked to issue RFPs "just to find out what other good ideas are out there." Some had no intention of ever hiring an agency.
  • Non-qualified people who dilute the value of the profession by claiming to be PR people when they are not. Event planning, promoting night clubs by luring people in with offers of free or cheap drinks, or being an attractive face at a trade show booth, handing out brochures and chotskies, does not a PR professional make.
  • PR people who flood news desks with advertising disguised as newsworthy media releases. Most of these people have not even been inside a newsroom and seen the "overflowing" in-boxes of a news editor or assignment editor. If they stopped this practice, it would go a long way to getting rid of the pet peeve many PR people have, which is journalists not responding to pitches. If a journalist gets flooded with useless media releases, how on earth are they expected to find time to respond to even the semi-worthwhile ones?!
  • AP Style: We are the professionals in the industry but there’s always a client who wants something written a certain way based on their business practices and it’s not AP style at all. We try to make everything AP style as a standard practice.


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About the Author
Mike Bush is a PR and Marketing freelancer with more than a dozen years of experience in the field. Find him on and connect Twitter @mikebush or at www.mikebush.nyc. 
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