Thursday, May 29, 2008

PR pros vs. PR hacks

I'm reading: PR pros vs. PR hacksTweet this!

A little bird whispered to me that some PR folks bristle hearing themselves described as PR hacks as in my post below. They especially take offense if they are the types that follow best practices for blogger outreach.

That is:

They follow the blog to some degree.

They pitch appropriate products to me (i.e., family snacks or Nintendo products, as opposed to baby gear or zit cream for high school prom goers).

And make appropriate requests (i.e., offer samples and say they hope I'll share a review with my readers as opposed to "requiring" a review or only a glowing one).

They also send product samples promptly (um, didn't someone offer me sunscreen for Skin Cancer Awareness Month...which ends Saturday?). I used to think it was silly when companies overnighted items to me. I mean, really, how important is my opinion? But now that I receive more pitches (and have a Day Job and a family...), my M.O. is out of sight out of mind.

If I'm hosting a giveaway of their product, they send it out promptly to the winner so I don't get stuck with shipping expenses. They also notify me ahead of time of any restrictions (i.e., US residents only).

Who are the PR pros? In my mind the category includes Edelman, Fleishman-Hillard, and Christopher Barger's group at General Motors. I've worked with multiple people at these organizations on several occasions and, eh, maybe there's a blip here and there, but by and large these companies get it right and are open to feedback and learning from mistakes when they miss the mark. When I get an email from someone, say at Edelman, I'm going to read and consider it, even if I don't know the sender.

Who are the PR hacks? Well, they may be trying to get it right too, they're just falling a bit short. Okay, some of them are not even tyring or they're quite ignorant of best practices. I'm less inclined to point fingers at the hacks than I am to give props to the pros. That's just how I roll.

So, hats off to the PR pros!

What about the hacks? I urge them to subscribe to Susan Getgood's Marketing Roadmaps blog, or better yet, hire her.

Do you want to give props to any companies? Leave a comment.


Christopher Barger said...

Hi Kim - thank you for the very kind comment. Honestly, we're all flattered. (And no, that's not some PR-hack spin job... we really are flattered!) ;-)

Your post reads like a primer for people in my profession - I've been pushing my team and my colleagues on many of the same points you raise. If you don't mind, I am going to distribute this to my colleagues here... good stuff to be reminded of.

One more thing: it was classy of you to not take shots at the folks who haven't gotten it yet, but to instead throw props to the teams you think connect well with you. As someone who hasn't always gotten things right, I very much appreciate when people take the high road to try and help you learn rather than tearing you down over your mistakes.

Thanks again for the shout-out. We like you too!

Kim Moldofsky said...

I'm happy to have you pass this around. I think your program presents a sound model for others to follow. Are you working on a book yet ;-)

Susan Getgood said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Kim. And the recommendation :-)

Amy said...

Great post and I was nodding my head the entire time! Send my contact info to the people who get it right and take me off the list for all of these gosh darn press releases that will never end :)

PS- You made me laugh with your canned meat email. I feel a blog entry brewing :)

PSS- Let me know if you decide to give in to the Twitter :)

coolwebmom said...

PR flack though is the ultimate compliment!! Those behind the scenes gurus who orchestrate the rise of big stars... I wonder if hack derives from flack.