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
’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.’