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Gini Dietrich

What Is Wrong with PR?

By: Gini Dietrich | February 28, 2011 | 
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It was a rough week in public relations last week. The New York Times let a business owner rant on their blog, TechCrunch took a stab at a PR professional, and Jeremy Pepper, Mack Collier, Shannon Paul, and I debated a PR vs. publicity Quora question on Beth Harte’s Facebook wall.

When we started Spin Sucks, it was with the idea that we would be able to publicly promote all of the good work the PR industry does and help to change perception that we’re all snakeoil salesmen. But, as of late, it seems everyone is highlighting the really bad professionals in our field (aren’t there bad professionals in every field?) from stray hashtag tweets and advertising gone wrong to fake personas and astroturfing. All is amiss and we only have ourselves to blame.

We have a new client. No, we had a new client. I spent a really long time with them (to the tune of nearly four months) educating them, building trust and confidence, helping them build their financial model for a new business they’re launching, and teaching them that PR (online and off) is a marathon, not a sprint. For free. They finally signed on the dotted line last month and we got started.

The relationship lasted only five weeks.

Five weeks.

Sure, we can point a bunch of fingers and say they were all in the wrong, but after I read the New York Times blog and after what their CEO said to me (“you trumped your online expertise”), I have to stop and think about what we didn’t do right.

If you’ve not read The Problem with Public Relations,” it’s a good piece to read (especially the comments), but this is the most stabbing point:

So many questions, so few answers. 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.

What a nice generalization, isn’t it? All PR (since when does PR have periods between each letter?) people drive him crazy. All PR people are paid to twist reality into pretzels and convince you they are fine croissants. All of us.

But the point, after my blood stopped boiling, that I took away from this is that the author really believes all PR professionals do this. Our former client really believes I sold him a bunch of shit in order to get the business. Never mind in the very first meeting, he said to us, ” Don’t screw this up” as if screwing it up were the very first thing on our minds. Never mind that what I really want to do is trump our expertise to win some business and then not deliver results. And never mind that, as PR pros we all believe our own concoctions.

And it’s our own fault.

In both of these cases, the ranting blogger and our former client had a perception in their minds they thought we should deliver. There isn’t anything I can do about the perception of the blogger, but (knowing hindsight is 20/20), I should have been more careful to really understand the expectations and perception of our client. The things he wanted us to do weren’t included in our proposal, but I never dug deep enough to fully understand that, even though it wasn’t included, it was what he wanted us to deliver.

So we were working a proposal he didn’t even want. And that’s our own fault.

As PR professionals, we are part consultant, part coach, part implementer, and part shrink. If we forget one of those four things, we won’t be able to build the confidence and trust we need from our clients in order to help them build confidence and trust with their audiences. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and any of us who say we want to “create a preopening buzz so loud that it would announce our arrival from sea to shining inlet, instantly creating a name and a brand” are downright being untruthful. If we say those things to win the business and then can’t deliver, it’s not only hampering our ability to deliver, it’s killing the perception of the industry, as a whole.

I fully realize how difficult it is to determine goals and projected results before you begin working with a company, but I also know how easy it is to underpromise and overdeliver. It’s easy to educate and discuss the milestones it takes to be able to run the marathon. It’s easy to discuss the difference between PR and publicity and fully understand what it is the buyer wants from you.

If the client or business leader doesn’t want to hear it, it’s likely not the right fit for you. Let them go find a professional who will overpromise and underdeliver. After all, they’re out there.

They just don’t read this blog.

I snagged this image from Brian Solis’s blog, but I’m not sure where he got it. So thanks Brian…and whomever drew it!

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

114 comments
NancyM.
NancyM.

'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.'

Sadly, that's what most people believe. I myself was under that impression until lately when my cousin got into PR and showed me how PR can actually benefit the society and work for a good cause.

LScribner
LScribner

Gini, I feel your pain. It's almost uncanny how you can tell from the get go which client relationships will work and which that won't. It was a red flag when the client said, "Don't screw this up." He had a fatalistic mentality going into the relationship. You had to crawl out of a hole before you even got started. What's key is working with companies that fully appreciate what you're bringing to the table. If they don't respect or take your recommendations, well there's lots of other fish in the sea as they say! As for the rep for the PR industry as a whole I say this: there are some bloggers and outlets that have it out for us, for their own personal reasons. My advice is be very careful about what you put in an email. If you're miffed count to 10 and rethink what you wrote before you hit send.

sparker9
sparker9

Gini, this is a great discussion. Your post and the comments are very thought provoking. I've been wrestling these alligators for nearly 25 years, and most of that time in the hard scrabble start-up world where no one gets giant wads of cash to throw at thorny problems to make them go away. Here's what I think.

First, my hats off to 3HatsComms for her point #5. Prospects need to understand there's a difference between their needs and wants. It's our job to discover during the courting process if they get that. The second part of that is, do they get that the only way it makes sense to hire us is if they trust us enough to ask for and seriously consider our opinion of what they need. If there's any doubt, walk away. You might as well be in some commodity supply business. My second point is simply that when it comes to understanding clients' goals and challenges and especially perspectives, we have to ask a lot of probing, socratic type questions and dig deep. This "chemistry just clicked" stuff that is sometimes tempting is not enough. It can go haywire. Third, we work in a field where everyone thinks that because they are consumers of PR (or in the case of media and influencers, its targets), that they are experts. Never, ever forget that that is total bullshit, and act accordingly. Sometimes in a pitch you have to get enough of an ego to tell someone, as politely and rationally as possible, why they're very wrong about something. Which feeds into my last point, which is, the only way to add real value in a client relationship is to give strong counsel, tell them exactly what you think--whether they like it or not, and absolutely be willing to walk away from the relationship at any time, for any reason, on your terms.

Then and only then do you have the integrity required to do your best profesional work and gain the respect you need from them to deliver the value they seek.

jeremymeyers
jeremymeyers

In my experience, having spent a year and a half at a PR firm and a decade before that doing marketing on the client side in the entertainment biz, it boils down to a combination of two things:

1) PR are on the frontlines of what people think about their clients, but they are rarely if ever empowered to give suggestion or feedback about the client that WOULD ACTUALLY RESULT IN A SUBSTANTIVE ADJUSTMENT TO CLIENT PRODUCTS, TONE, OR BUSINESS PRACTICES.

2) PR people think that because they're the ones on the front lines, they have some sort of magical insight into what could be 'fixed' about a company, and if the client would ONLY LISTEN TO THEM, everything would be EVEN BETTER, as if the people within the company are unaware of the stuff about it that isn't good.

3) It's a relationship thats very superficial, almost by definition. A lot of PR folks (especially now) say they want to be a part of the process as early as possible, but you know... Edelman isn't McKinsey. Theres an overinflated sense of entitlement there. Maybe the whole dynamic is broken.

3HatsComm
3HatsComm

Fantastic discussion here Gini. I've made this mistake as well Gini, mismanaging expectations and not trusting my gut. Some thoughts from reading all the smart comments:

1) There will be those who don't see their PR firm as a true BUSINESS advisor. There will be clients who don't get PR and/or social media, think it all nothing but publicity and/or likes on FB, RTs. Either they'll be willing to learn (and pay for said teaching, thank you @BethHarte ) about what PR really is, or they won't.

2) Beware on both sides of the table. "Don't screw up" is as red a flag as a client believing the preopening blitzkrieg hype.

3) Some clients want it all now, skipping - and not paying for - the steps it takes to get there. They want to win the race without training or running the mararthon, as @MimiMeredith mentioned, "delayed gratification" is a foreign concept.

4) Some people hear what they want to hear and will ignore what they don't want to hear. I am not certain that this restaurant's 2nd PR experience was ALL bad. Looks like this firm reviewed the business, the model, the market and made suggestions based upon thinking there was room for improvement: tweak the menu, adjust prices to reflect market trends and so on. Is it possible that the business owner was so biased of the perfection of their product that he refused to listen, consider any options? Maybe the PR firm was crappy or maybe they had ideas they thought would actually make this business better? IDK.

5) There is a difference between what a company or brand WANTS and what they NEED. They may think they want/need something, not always the case. Which will alway muddy the waters as the many hat wearing PR advisor tries to get on the same page with the client regarding expectations.

6) Expectations need to be carved in stone, then burned, reset, cast in bronze and maybe tattooed on someone's head. And you can't start or stop with "what do you want, expect?" but you also have to cover what you don't want, what "success" looks like and doesn't, what the "deliverables" will be, etc.

6B) From the PR Firm side, expecations and commitments need to be clear as to what PR can and CAN'T do. The biggest stumbling block here for me, PR and especially social media, is the part where I spell out all I do, then detail the WORK that's the client's responsibility. Then I get blinks and Huh?s and they're shocked that they actually have to put some time, effort and WORK into these promotional efforts be it answering blog comments or giving decent quotes to the media.

And I've ranted enough. FWIW.

wearebluesky
wearebluesky

Excellent stuff. What I've found out since starting my own agency is that I'm regarded in many cases as a business advisor, passing on my knowledge to companies that should know what I regard as basics.

It's also frustrating when a new business comes along and then you realise that they never bothered to factor marketing etc into their business plan despite having managed to get external funding for their venture. What are the financiers up to?

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

Business would be so easy... if it weren't for the people! The comments here are fantastic and tell such a common story: we all want to believe what we want to believe and unfortunately, that means ignoring red flags. I admire you for taking ownership (much like @NancyMyrland said) and I totally agree with @tomgable - trust your gut!

I have a client now that's giving me all kinds of mixed signals, red flags and "I'm not so sure this is gonna go well" kind of feelings. Am I facing those head on? Not yet. I'm trying desperately to salvage and make the relationship work, but at some point I'm going to have to face the music and realize we're not on the same page and no amount of media placements, promotional events, product placements or positive reviews will change that. The really sad thing? I'm working my proverbial arse off to prove that I can do it and meet the unrealistic expectations of this client. Wonder what other really great client I might be missing while toiling away on this one that may not be a match?

PR IS an investment (I have another client on the opposite end of the spectrum that said that just the other day) and one that may not be for everyone...at least not in the regard with which folks like the NYT blogger (restaurateur) hold it. Thanks as always for fighting the good fight and for engaging so many of us along the way. xoxo!

NancyMyrland
NancyMyrland

Gini, don't necessarily blame this on yourself. There are people who also blame their PR counsel, or Marketing advisors, or whatever their service provider might be because they fail too. It is sometimes easier to blame someone else than it is to take the blame for having unrealistic expectations, or not being able to handle disappointment, or ever holes in their own organizations. I admire you for owning up to that part of it which you now know is yours, but don't carry the entire burden on your shoulders. If there's one thing I can tell about you, and there are many, it is that you are thorough, and you know what you're talking about. If you spent 4 months with this (then) potential client, then you educated them far more than most of us would. I'm proud of you.

Thomasscott
Thomasscott

It all sounds good and well: PR firms need to work harder to set clearer expectations up front but in my expereince it isn't that the expectations or even deliverables are not set; its that the conversations that are really driving business are misunderstood all around.
One of the best things about working in the franchise industry is that it is full of some really professional people who 'get' sales on a very high level. I learned from Joe Mathews, author of Street Smart Franchising, that what usually happens in a sale is that the seller (the PR company in this case) is having one conversation about what they want to do for a client. The Client is having a 2nd conversation about what they think they need (which is almost never right) and somewhere in the background is a more important conversation taking place almost entirely in the client's head: the conversation about what they are trying to achieve which almost always has nothing to do with what they are talking to you about. This is the conversation about what motivates them to be in this business and what they really want to accomplish with it. This is an emotionally driven conversation and its tough to access.
When I've been really successful and have managed to build longer term relationships that grow into being a real team element for a company (and I've lost my share of business) its been when I could get the client through careful questioning to start talking about why they are in business and what they really want to see happen. I don't mean what they are trying to accomplish as an immediate goal; I mean what motivates them to be in this business in the first place. They invite you into the really important conversation and when that happens, they begin to sell themselves on using us as part of the solution.
When you get to this level - where the client is expressing what they really want to see happen - the what they are hiring you for and what you have to propose often changes. The client sells him or herself on what they really need and better understand what it takes to get there.
One lesson that carries over from the franchsie industry to the PR industry: we are all salespeople and the salespeople with the best listening skills usually win the race.
Great post - things always happen for a reason.

tomgable
tomgable

Good work covering a situation that all PR firms have faced or will face if they are in business longer than six months and on the hunt for new business. Your piece and the comments nailed a couple of essential truths: set realistic expectations up front; think long-term strategy to the benefit of the client's business (versus short-term pyrotechnics in the Twittersphere); weigh the ego of the CEO or client contact against all others you've dealt with; don't work for free, any time; and trust your gut. I have several horror stories related to not paying enough attention to each of these key points, most notably the latter. Thanks again for posting a great lesson for all PR professionals.

JGoldsborough
JGoldsborough

So you delivered the sun and the moon, but not the stars. What did Meatloaf say? Two out of three ain't bad? :)

We had a client in the past year who had unreasonable expectations that went beyond the plan. But it was also that client's first time working an intergrated marketing strategy that included social media comnponents as opposed to a plan based on one or two simple offline promotional tactics they'd been doing for years. We were worried about the possibilities, but also felt it worth taking the risk that we could show the value of a different approach. Didn't exactly work out the way I hoped...our client contact loved the results, but the boss did not.

We don't work with said organization anymore, but we took a shot, gave it a try and earned a solid case study from the campaign we did execute. And the public perception of the organization we worked for and work we did was positive. Call me overly optimistic, but I think sometimes you stand behind what is right and hope you can show that POV through to your clients. That said, it's impossible to please everyone, hindsight is 20/20, WTF does Meatloaf know, and on and on.

T60Productions
T60Productions

Wow Gini... just getting to read this post and it's very heartfelt. I've had some struggles with a client recently along similar lines, so this all rings very true.

Good job keeping things in perspective.

--Tony Gnau

ShannonPaul
ShannonPaul

Gini,

PR is a confounding industry. I feel like PR is what I do for a living, but the actual workflow looks a lot different from the people who do PR in an official capacity. I think that's the crazy thing -- to me it doesn't make a lot of sense to define a profession by what you do on a daily basis, but rather what you produce on a daily basis. The 20th century made businesses focus on output, the 21st century models could care less -- for better or worse it's all about outcomes these days.

But, to be fair, the outcomes can be a little difficult to predict (I would never want a PR agency to tell me they didn't take advantage of an opportunity because it wasn't in the plan if it was clearly aligned with strategy). This whole thing isn't for weak stomachs and those who might be a little too uncomfortable with ambiguity. Definitions of what it means to "screw this up" vary and so does mileage.

I'm so glad I got all nosey on Facebook this weekend -- I enjoy where this conversation is going :)

KenMueller
KenMueller

Great to hear your thoughts on this Gini. I'm finding that in the Social Media field I'm beginning to get a better read on clients up front, but it's certainly not an exact science. I had two particular businesses that turned down my proposals, and I'm glad. I knew from what they wanted that they would've been a nightmare to deal with.

I think we owe it to ourselves to ask them up front, "What are your expectations?", and then at the very end of the very first meeting, ask them "No, really....WHAT are your expectations??". I think, like the guy who wrote the post for the NYTimes, people come to us, whether it be PR or Social Media, with preconceived notions about what it is that we actually do, and they try to create us in their own image. When we fail to meet their expectations and perceptions, well, then they look at us as if we're to blame.

I'm dealing with a particular client right now where they aren't living up to their end of the bargain. And I told them up front, and have re-told them repeatedly, what their involvement would need to be. And I just know that when our agreement runs out, they'll look at us and say "You didn't deliver."

Being honest doesn't seem to pay. Maybe we should try that snake oil thing...

ParkRidgeDDS
ParkRidgeDDS

Hi Gini,
This article broke my heart...I have followed you and your excellent blog for almost a year now and I can't imagine a more credible, sincere and authentic person than you. My feeling is that much of this discord is about language. I've been in the people business for a very long time and one of the lessons that I have learned is that each of our industries has its own very specialized language. Some industries even have actual words that describe techniques, events, diseases, etc. We are so enmeshed in the passion that we have for our business/industry that we don't even realize that we are speaking "dental speak" in my case...."PR speak" in your case etc etc. I can't tell you how many hundreds of times I hear a dental student tell a patient that they are going to remove the old amalgam and replace it with a resin. They might as well have said it in Russian because, so often, that is what the patient has heard....a bunch of jibberish. And invariably, the patient or client or customer, will want to either not look stupid or take the time to ask questions so they will nod their head in collective agreement leaving a HUGE possibility for upset and bad feelings later when they finally figured out what they had done. The languaging we each have learned in our respective businesses intentionally sets us apart from others and I think that is a potential mistake. So, what I encourage my students to do is to talk to their patient in their own language. Be an astute observer of the patient's body language and frequently ask if they understand. Cover all possible outcomes of whatever it is that they are doing....good and bad so that if the bad thing happens, they aren't surprised or upset....only prepared. It changed my business life when I changed my language. Sometimes it means spending longer with a client/patient to cover all possible outcomes and to have them iterate what has just been said but to me...it has been so worth that time expenditure.

KensViews
KensViews

Nancy: Re "pretzels and croissants" Is that what you believe, or what most people believe? I think the reality that you describe vis-a-vis your cousin is much more reflective of the majority of the true PR pros in the business. While there are "twisters" out there, they are definitely in the minority. But they do get found out from time to time.. It's good that they get nailed publicly, but unfortunately, that contributes to the negative image you describe. That's why the good ones must stand up and be counted.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@sparker9 I love your mom! We have to find out who published this book and approach them for a PR edition. Let's do it!

sparker9
sparker9

@ginidietrich Oops! Sorry about that, I should know better. My mother said, "Don't swear, it sounds like hell." Speaking of which, did you know the web and design people have a new book out, "Clients from Hell"? Seriously. http://book.clientsfromhell.net/ We desperately need a PR edition.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@sparker9 You swore on my blog! LOL! Your third point is my favorite - "we work in a field where everyone thinks that because they are consumers of PR, that they are experts." So, so, SO true!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@jeremymeyers You're very smart. This is a side of the equation I'd never considered. And, having come from the big agency world, you're absolutely right. Why share the profits when you can keep them all to yourself?

jeremymeyers
jeremymeyers

@ginidietrich @jeremymeyers Yes, but the thing is, people like Edelman (not picking on them specifically, only because they're a recognizable name) are trying to position themselves as one-stop-shop to address anything keeping companies from being super rockstars with devoted fanbases on the internet, but they dont actually have the business consulting expertise, reputation, or agency (pardon the pun) to go in and address internal struggles. And they're not being asked to. Which is just a setup for fail all around.

Of course, it doesn't affect the sales pitches, or anything.

3HatsComm
3HatsComm

@ginidietrich @jeremymeyers That's it: some business owners hire financial pros for accounting problems and PR pros for publicity problems and HR firms for staffing problems which makes sense but with no integration across the business, it's only going to go so far. Like you said, it's not as if the company didn't already know they had a shipping cost issue. But the PR firm wasn't hired to fix it that problem, just the promotional one. So it's better that you were let go as all the PR wouldn't save a bad business model, then it'd be like the NYT article questioning the industry. Hence my rant earlier.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@jeremymeyers I love this!! It's so funny you say this because we had a client who was charging more for shipping than for the actual product. When I brought this up to him, as a reason that we didn't recommend starting a PR program yet, he fired us. It's too bad - his concept was really cool, but the stats on how many people abandoned the shopping cart were astounding.

The reason Edelman isn't McKinsey is because, as professionals, we're not taught business skills. So, unless you run Edelman or own an agency that is a business, you don't really know what it's like to be able to consult on business issues.

wabbitoid
wabbitoid

@jeremymeyers Excellent! I'm just a small bit-player who advises very small biz (usually single propprietor) how to use social media and the 'net. This allows me to have a more interactive role, generally based on coaching as much as anything. You just illuminated very well why I like this practice and why I'm having a very different experience than the real "PR Pros". I'm constantly learning about businesses and they are constantly learning about the 'net - it's a very open relationship with no BS and a commitment to the bottom line. You hit on the difference very well, thanks!

My next question - is it possible that the "pros" have something to learn from my experience? Is this dialogue-based mutual coaching a model that can be applied to bigger accounts than the tiny ones I run? I'm certainly learning from you all.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@wearebluesky Or when they say, "just tell me what you think it'll cost" and then freak out when you have no baseline and come back with something outside of their budget. Sigh...

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@EricaAllison The people...and the time sheets! :) So, after reading this, I have to ask...did you decide to face the music?

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@NancyMyrland Thanks Nancy. And, after he threatened me today, I'm no longer shouldering the entire burden.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@Thomasscott I totally agree with you, unless you're faced with an arrogant asshole client who thinks he knows more than you (like the NY Times blogger) and doesn't communicate anything so you CAN listen.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@tomgable The "short-term pyrotechnics in the Twittersphere." I love that, Tom! I agree...anytime you don't pay attention to your gut, you get into trouble. Thanks for stopping by! You made my evening.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@MichelleDamico I think you make a great point about being too nervous to have to show results..and also that, for so long, we've measured on media impressions and advertising equivalencies and that just won't fly any longer.

MichelleDamico
MichelleDamico

@JGoldsborough Gini, I don't know about you but some of these comments are just Bleepin Golden! Makes me wanna steal them! From JGoldsborough and TomGable.

Your post got this all started because it is excellent, and it's just the reality of our business, especially when we do work for smaller businesses. They just don't have the fortitude to stick with the plan, if they don't see immediate results. How many times have I heard a client say "We love what you're doing, but the needle hasn't moved much for us." They know it's an investment of time and resources, but after 6 to 8 weeks (or 5 in your case) they get impatient. Can we just write it off to human nature? Unfortunately, I think the answer is "YES" when it comes to business. Everyone is too nervous to have to show immediate results, even after acknowledging that immediate results won't happen. I think it's a sorry state for the industry, but shows how jittery this rotten economy has made business people. What do you think:"

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@JGoldsborough WTF does Meatloaf know?! LOL!! I'm typically with you - overly optimistic. I think that's why I ignored my gut on this one. I should have just let it go the third time they asked me for something else they should have paid to receive.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@Nikki Little Yeah, the not taking it personally is REALLY hard. If you figure it out, let me know!

Nikki Little
Nikki Little

@ginidietrich @ShannonPaul My stomach has definitely gotten stronger over the past 5 years! Still working on not taking these I can't control so personally though. That's a whole other blog post!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@ShannonPaul And it got you over here, too! Except I don't like kale. Ew. Totally agree with you that a PR agency shouldn't say they didn't take advantage of an opportunity because it wasn't in the plan. We have the opposite problem with a client (who we adore). We wrote a proposal, and then plan, before being entrenched in their business. Now that we're part of their extended team, we've realized opportunities we didn't expect. And they keep asking when we're going to follow the plan. So it's A LOT of education about things that were put on the back burner for opportunities that make more sense right now, without affecting their budget, but still garnering results. You're right - it's not for one with a weak stomach.

KenMueller
KenMueller

@ginidietrich you need to stop playing the tart and just get on with it! Project Jack Bauer is like the worlds longest strip tease. With a dog no less!

I think i've figured out the answer of how to stop chasing money, but I'm a lot further behind on the curve than you are.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@KenMueller LOL! Nooooooooooooo! Fight the fight with me!! It's frustrating, isn't it? Fighting the fight. Educating instead of delivering. Defending ourselves. All because of these pre-conceived notions of what PR does. If only we could figure out how to stop chasing money, too. Oh wait. I have figured it out. It launches in May. :)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@ParkRidgeDDS Love it! And I appreciate your chiming in. While this situation is fairly new to us (it's not like it happens all the time), I take full responsiblity in how quickly it fell apart.

ParkRidgeDDS
ParkRidgeDDS

@ginidietrich ;-) Language can be so intimidating. And thank you for allowing me to chime in...I know this is about the PR industry but something spoke to me and I couldn't keep my fingers quiet ;-) (and while I'm sure you probably really DO know...an amalgam is a silver filling and a resin is the tooth colored filling ;-)

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

@ginidietrich The music was thrust upon me today...and I faced it, sort of. It was a very open discussion (at least for me) and one that I was shocked later to review in my mind - did I really say that?

Short story: after 10 days of me sending 'update' emails, leaving voice mails and 'touching base', only to have the client play passive aggressive chess in return, I finally drew the line in the sand. I'm afraid we won't return to 'happy' land after today and I really want to get out of this without ruining a referral. Oiy!

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

@ginidietrich mine, too! We actually finished up the discussion today and agreed to continue with a few more items/promos this month, but will part ways March 31. I would bet we won't last the rest of the month...once it's over, it's over. I already feel lighter! Thanks!

Trackbacks

  1. […] New York Times article written about the problem with public relations, which was explored on Spin Sucks this morning, makes Abbie’s guest post even more […]

  2. […] However, as I’ve been participating in PR chats on Twitter (#pr20chat and #solopr are two that I try to make every week), I’ve heard from PR professionals that they really don’t like defining themselves as publicists. This has really come to a head over the last couple of weeks when the New York Times let a business owner rant about PR, and several notable PR professionals responded to it (Kellye Crane’s great piece is here, and Gini Dietrich has a great piece here). […]

  3. […] work and some people we will never really get on the same wavelength. Public relations expert Gini Dietrich, recently wrote that as PR professionals, (you role is) part consultant, part coach, part […]

  4. […] boil. I laughed at the author and the article. Gini wrote about this post (and other things) here and examined the idea of expectations, generously including how it is our fault if someone […]

  5. […] What is Wrong With PR? (via Spin […]

  6. […] post the other day from PR pro Gini Dietrich on her blog, Spin Sucks, about some serious perception […]

  7. […] here, you’ve probably already read it and its partner in the blame game. It’s been discussed, blogged, challenged, with many clever and helpful posts by some of the best and […]

  8. […] to unite in force to uphold our professional standards. As one of the bloggers who posted a series of articles on this debacle and its fall out (assisted with a guest post by the lovely and talented […]

  9. […] years. And then Jayme started giving me ideas. Illusions of grandeur. I may be something more. Or something less, as Gini Dietrich found some believe. Depends on your experience, I […]

  10. […] from my pals Jayme Soulati and Jenn Whinnem. I’ve read many of the subsequent posts, including Gini Dietrich’s very honest assessment of her firm’s own missteps and Heidi Cohen’s collection of 31 definitions of […]

  11. […] I don’t know about you, but I think it’s time to take back public relations. If we do not, there will be an on-going misperception of what “real” public relations  is as a management function and more people will have a legitimate reason to ask “what is wrong with PR?” […]

  12. […] self-destruct and get themselves back to a place that’s more comfortable. They generate bad results, or maybe good results, because those results are more […]