An Attack on PR… again.
Every few months, there’s someone who thinks they know exactly what the PR industry and its pros are all about. The press release is dead, some declare. PR people are vampires, others say. On February 23, PR pros were once again the topic of discussion and its wasn’t because we did something right.
In Wednesday’s New York Times, Bruce Buschel- a man of many hats- wrote a post in the small-business blog. In it, he described the experiences of opening his newest restaurant. Buschel received a pitch from a PR director (how the pro could help, etc.). I’ll let you read his post, but all in all… he’s not a fan of PR folks. Buschel says:
I have been dealing with P.R. people for a very long time. It would be crazy to categorize all public relations people as crazy, so let’s just say that P.R. people drive me crazy. All of them. As a client, as an interviewer of clients, as an avoider of clients they are selling too hard, and now as a client again. What I have finally come to understand is that P.R. people are paid to twist reality into pretzels and convince you that they are fine croissants. At some point, they actually believe their own concoctions.
So, we aren’t all crazy, but we drive Mr. Buschel crazy. Come again?
Here’s what gets me about people like Mr. Buschel. Because of experience, they believe they are an authority on how PR works. He was so astute though, that he picked not one, but TWO wrong folks. Instead, it appears to me Mr. Buschel was a little impatient. Is that also the fault of the PR firm(s)? No, you ultimately need a good client/firm relationship to make things truly work.
Let’s be honest, we all know some PR pros that make our skin crawl. Overall the industry is filled with honest, respectable, and hard-working folks who know how to put a plan together. They also know not to promise something they can’t deliver.
So Bruce, next time you decide to choose a PR firm for a restaurant, one of your jazz films, or off-Broadway musicals, look in the mirror first. Sometimes it’s not the PR pro that’s the problem… it may be you.