Alright, let’s just jump right in!
- When your PR people call or write, don’t return those pesky phone calls or emails promptly. Journalists aren’t, after all, working on deadline or anything, so there’s no reason to be respectful of their time.
- Don’t get your PR team involved in branding meetings and brainstorming sessions. Heaven knows, they have nothing to offer in that regard.
- Don’t ever, whatever you do, include your PR team in marketing meetings. Marketing and PR people should never be expected to work together. They should always be kept in separate rooms, and the marketing people should get the nice furniture with the special snacks. The two disciplines should never work in concert, right?
- Don’t question your PR people if all they’re doing is taking orders from you like a child takes orders from a nanny. Your PR people aren’t hired to act as your ‘other’ brain, to offer ideas and to be in touch with what is and isn’t newsworthy or current and trending. You already know all that. You already know everything! You just need someone to boss around, and you’re happy to pay them to take orders, STAT.
- Don’t make a personal introduction to your new PR team to any journalists or news people to whom you are already connected. Wouldn’t it be silly to reach out to a trusted journalist on behalf of your PR team? It might get you some attention when handled deftly. And who wants attention, right?
- Don’t give your PR people access to your social media team or encourage them to work together in any way. Heaven knows you didn’t hire those PR folks to help shape your message or widen your audience, did you? Now that would just be silly.
- Don’t take constructive criticism from your PR team. Ever. They should always be your cheerleader and never tell you how they really feel. After all, an absence of critical feedback articulated well concerning any challenges ahead would make you feel stupid – like you’re not one of the popular kids. OOOH. Yuck.
It’s obvious this piece is written with a lot of snark and a tongue planted firmly in the cheek. However, we urge you to heed our advice. If you don’t understand PR – don’t hire a PR team to help you understand it. PR does not happen in a silo. It’s a group effort and it’s well worth it. So, please: do your research before you sign on the dotted line. Learn what it means to have PR people working on your behalf, and then help them help you. You, and your bottom line, will be much happier along the way!
_____________________Photo: An adapted photo (addition of speech bubble) originally by Sergio Vassio Photography, at flic.kr/p/7XxXwx