Alright. That’s a gross generalization. After all, I’m a PR professional. And I’m pretty darn good at my job. But this blog isn’t named Spin Sucks because we don’t like DJs. It’s named Spin Sucks because there are far too many PR people who do, indeed, suck.
It’s a joke in our office. I always say, “I love it when other PR people make us look so good.” And it happens more often than one would think (like daily).
Which leads me to a downright offensive blog post written last week by an “actual employee at an actual PR company; one you’ve heard of if you’ve heard of any.” And she goes by the anonymous pseudonym of “Sarah.”
You see, I was stalking Danny Brown (as I’ve been known to do a time or two) and I found “When PR Has Its Head Up Its Ass.” I went on to read that Danny had been reading Mom Blog Magazine (still trying to figure out what he was doing there) and found a post titled, “Why PR People Get Paid and You Don’t.”
The post was directed to bloggers. Allow me to take some excerpts from the post for your entertainment…and perhaps to get your blood boiling, as it did mine.
“You’re writing a blog post. Let’s stop pretending your blog is a world-changing event and recognize it for what it is–something transient that may be gone tomorrow if you flake out or change your mind or your Uncle Vinny finds your blog and you realize you don’t really want him to know where you live because you still owe him money.”
“There’s no contract. You don’t promise to say nice things about the company. The PR person does. They have to sell a product no matter what that product is, and they sell it with a smile even if it kicks puppies and makes babies cry. You don’t have this obligation. You have the freedom that comes with NOT having a paycheck to answer to.”
“You are not expected to show up at 8 a.m. dressed business casual and go to countless meetings. You get to do and say whatever you want as long as you plop a disclaimer at the end.”
“You don’t get to decide to be a professional blogger but then decide you want the lifestyle, paycheck, and perks of having an out-of-the-house PR job.”
“No one I have ever talked to in the PR industry judges a blogger for choosing to be a stay-at-home mom who makes money or gets stuff for the kids and family by blogging or decides to be a blogger because they were laid off and wanted to create a portfolio. But the minute you flash a me-too mentality by saying, “You get paid, I should too.” THEN we judge you.”
I’m sorry. THEN we judge you?! Since when is it OK to judge anyone for anything? Ever heard the saying, “Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”??
But that’s neither here nor there. This was a week ago and my blood pressure still rises when I read this crap. And it’s crap. We’ve talked here before about how bad it is to treat bloggers like second-class citizens because, I’m sorry you guys, but bloggers are today’s media. No matter how you feel about them. You can’t do your job without them…and that means treating them with the same respect you treat traditional reporters.
So I asked two of the nicest people I know, Joe Thornley and Martin Waxman, to calm me down in today’s episode of Inside PR. I’m not sure they did a great job of that, mostly because they were having more fun feeding the fire. You can listen to our debate here, but please come back and tell me what YOU think about Sarah and her anonymous blog post. Perhaps you can calm me down. Or not.
Image courtesy of Danny Carlino