As Halloween draws near, scary movies and haunted houses abound—but the scariest creatures can reside in your office.
These terrible types of communicators can create the worst type of horrors, including nightmarish pitches, zombie-like presentations, reputational disasters and way too many selfies.
Here are 10 monsters to battle:
1. Pitching Poltergeist
Similar to apparitions that appear and throw items around in haunted houses, these ghostly PR pitchers pop up in reporters’ emails to virtually throw any half-hatched idea at the wall to see what sticks. Though most don’t cause permanent damage, the non-news, embargos and promotional announcements they hurl are often distracting and annoying.
Defend yourself by deleting and blocking.
2. Crisis Gremlin
Don’t be fooled by any mogwai appearance: This monster will wreak havoc on your communications plans and throw a wrench into your reputation management strategies—even if you heed the warnings to avoid bright lights, keep it dry and never feed it after midnight.
This creature works fast, upending your messages and inciting a firestorm within minutes from a careless comment or online misstep. You’ll have to respond quickly to catch and banish.
3. Unethical Vampire
The soul-sucking demon will drain your organization of trust and morality, one unethical decision at a time. They hide under the cloak of darkness and often begin their reign of terror with small steps down the path of immorality, such as not disclosing a conflict of interest in an interview or ignoring HR processes which are meant to keep a toxic workplace culture at bay.
The only way to banish ethical vampires is to bring them into the light. They might scream (or even burn), but anything less will keep the demon around and fed by your reputation’s lifeforce.
4. Overconnected Chupacabra
This vampiric creature is way too connected to technology and social media. Sure, communicators have to be increasingly more social media savvy, but that doesn’t mean you have to Instagram every meeting and hashtag each client idea. Though the Overconnected Chupacabra often misses out on conversations in favor of retweeting and liking Facebook posts, you can easily become prey with a selfie moment.
A digital detox will usually slay these monsters, but until then: Hide.
Ragan.com’s Russell Working wrote:
This monster, assembled by a mad scientist in an attic laboratory, has been spotted by Carlin Twedt and other fleeing villagers. Calming his nerves with a swig from a rescuer’s whiskey flask, Twedt, who is Ragan’s marketing and social media manager, stammered that the creature was last seen producing interminable PowerPoint presentations with unreadable fonts and no narrative or design continuity.
However, the speaker version of Dr. Frankenstein’s monster doesn’t have to ruin your next event. From tips to write and polish your speech to avoiding common presentation pitfalls, the right training can turn this lumbering lug into an energized and charming orator.
6. Self-promoting Siren
This monster’s song might sound magical at first—until you’re lured to your destruction.
Forgetting the “relationship” element to PR, Self-promoting Sirens are only concerned about their goals, campaigns, clients and aims. They might pretend to be interested in networking or forming a mutually beneficial partnership, but as soon as a reporter asks for additional information or another PR pro calls in a favor, these monsters have already moved onto their next conquests.
It can be hard to resist their calls, but when you hear these scary PR pros, close your ears and move on to the next opportunity.