Is Bad/Unethical/ Unthoughtful PR ruining our reputations before we (PR students) even get in the door?
Throughout the semester our PR class has been studying examples of both good and bad PR – because there is definitely a lot to learn from both the good and the bad of what PR people are doing.
Lately, some examples of bad PR are making me think…
The words “public relations practitioner” already automatically leave a bad taste in some people’s mouths. Often this is because of several reasons (possibly the media’s depiction of the field, and actual PR practitioners who are not good at what they do for various reasons [ex: lack of strategic thinking/ planning, lack of ethics, etc.]).
Many times the examples of bad PR are shocking, but this one from the Bad Pitch Blog is THE craziest thing I’ve heard. A texted pitch!!?? This is unbelievable and ridiculous. (I though it was a joke…I usually don’t even like when my friends send me multiple pages of text. This goes against just about EVERYTHING I’ve learned about PR).
This is so unreal to me because of the class time we have spent learning about how to pitch, the group projects we’ve done learning the best ways to pitch, and the numerous blog posts I’ve read by PRofessionals about how to pitch depending on who you’re pitching to and what it is for.
In this post Dave Fleet touches on this subject by telling us that “PR isn’t the enemy”, but it’s Bad PR that is…one of the commenters drives this point home when he says that this is the case in any field- one bad apple can spoil the bunch, but this should just be fuel for us up and coming in the PR world to practice PR the way that we have learned to do it – the right way.
The way that doesn’t pitch to a journalist before even knowing what s/he writes about. The way that is strategic about the moves about to be made. The way that works to develop relationships with journalists and keep PR personalized. The way that works to tear down the wall of gobbledygook (lol) that so many companies are building with publications and press releases filled with big word that don’t say much. I can go on, but *hopefully* you get the picture.
What you do in PR can make that difference between someone or loving or hating PR, so do the right thing!
Overall, these bad/unethical/unthoughtful PR practitioners are definitely making it harder for us, but they will also make us look better when we get out there and show our employers, publics, fellow employees, and the media that there is a right way to practice PR, and that we can do it that right way.
What do you think about this?