What’s Wrong With PR?

I’m skipping today’s planned post in favor of a question: What’s wrong with PR?

I opened my inbox this morning to see yet another post from another in an endless line of journalists complaining about PR people sending irrelevant, annoying press releases: Peeve, Burr and Hosanna: Editorial Director Sounds Off On PR’s Most Irritating Habits. I have to say I can find no fault with his complaints. What I’d like to know, despite literally hundreds of similar complaints, is why this problem persists? In the 20+ years I’ve been in this profession, these complaints have been a steady drumbeat. I wish I had just a penny for every time I’ve heard this – I’d land on Forbe’s List of Wealthiest People.

I made a quick scan of the recent crop of “why journalists/bloggers/what-have-you hate PR” and came up with the following list:

  • There are too many PR people calling me
  • They have no clue what I write about
  • They don’t know anything about the product/service they’re pitching beyond what’s in the release
  • They don’t follow through on what’s promised
  • They don’t have their contact information available online
  • They act like car salesmen
  • Poorly written, jargon filled, spammy releases
  • Taking too long on the phone to get to the point
  • They don’t know when to take “no” for an answer

So I’m looking for some answers: Why does this problem persist? You tell me. And then maybe we can find a solution.

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