Hi-tech journalists once again rap pros

WATERTOWN, MA: Yet another story chronicling the problems journalists have with PR pros has continued to galvanize the industry more than a month after its initial publication.

WATERTOWN, MA: Yet another story chronicling the problems journalists have with PR pros has continued to galvanize the industry more than a month after its initial publication.

WATERTOWN, MA: Yet another story chronicling the problems

journalists have with PR pros has continued to galvanize the industry

more than a month after its initial publication.



The article, which appeared in the October 28 issue of software

publishing newsletter Soft-letter, detailed reasons why clients are

supposedly not getting their money’s worth from PR. Titled ’The Decline

and Fall of Public Relations,’ the story was compiled from a poll of

several hundred media members, who were asked if they have seen a change

in the quality of PR pitches.



Overall, 22% of respondents said that the pitches they receive are

’significantly worse’ than in the past, compared to a mere 6% who said

that agencies are doing ’significantly better.’



The article quoted some of the best-known names in the industry, such as

David Kirkpatrick of Fortune, Harry McCracken of PC World and Amy Wohl

of Wohl Associates, all of whom gave specific reasons why they believe

the quality of PR has declined. Among their gripes were lack of media

knowledge, lack of knowledge about clients, meaningless news releases

and spam e-mail attacks.



’In the era of one-to-one marketing, PR people are still pitching all

media the same angle,’ complained DemoLetter’s Chris Shipley. ’More

often than not, I find (people) in my office who have no idea why they

are there or even what I do.’



Added Mark Gibbs of Network World, ’PR firms are relying more on interns

to do their footwork - bad idea, folks. Trinket Knowsnothing will just

tick off the ranks of embittered hacks in half the time of any other

badly thought-out marcom ploy.’



While articles similar to the Soft-letter attack have aroused the ire of

PR pros in the past, the industry has reacted differently to this

one.



’I think (the article) is indisputable,’ said Sterling Hager EVP Jim

Joyal. ’The guys that were spoken to in this article are the heavy

hitters in our business. If PR people are willing to run away from these

things, they are doing themselves a great disservice.’



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