PR gripes

We are offering you the chance to express on these pages the things that really get your goat. To start the ball rolling, Arthur Perkins from agency Shout!, details three things that wind him up:

The main issue that winds me up about being a broadcast PR practitioner these days is the common consensus that PR is all about ‘spin’.

PR is not spin!
The media landscape has changed so much that it’s no longer the case that you can manipulate messaging to suit your agenda. Companies and individuals are much more accountable and in combination with movements like ‘Me Too’, greater shifts to gender and ethnic diversity as well as the gender pay gap debate, transparency and honesty rather than spin are crucial.

In tandem, gone are the days of lavish PR campaigns with huge budgets and no accountability. In the wake of the Bell Pottinger scandal, PR companies and brands alike are unable to simply spin, to protect reputations. With social media and on demand you will be found out.

Stupid ideas
My next wind up is everybody thinks they have a ‘black swan’ the holy grail of a story! Something happens in the brain storm phase that makes people who come up with a very ordinary idea believe that they have uncovered what will be the lead story on the 10 o’clock news. Rigidly sticking to their guns about it and then when it doesn’t make the lead story, let alone the news at all, they are bitterly disappointed

Awful spam
And finally, my own pet hate, PROs bombarding the media and spokespeople with messaging. Some clients can supply spokespeople with pages and pages of documents, detailing every aspect of the campaign, every minute phrase and wording of all the months’ and months’ worth of carefully crafted key messages. It all muddies and confuses someone who in all reality will only have a couple of minutes to get this across. It is best to strip back all of this and just have three simple key messages that your spokesperson can land in every interview to maximise the opportunity.

Written by Arthur Perkins, Senior broadcast consultant at agency Shout!