I’ve had thoughts on this topic for quite some time now and decided that it was about time I actually put pen to paper, or fingertips to keyboard so to speak. For the benefit of full disclosure, I’m both a PR and a blogger. I was a blogger before I was a PR and I’m grateful pretty much every working day that this was the case. It meant that I had experience of what it was like from the other side of PR, so I could take those lessons with me when I started a career in public relations.
Over the past couple of years, but definitely more recently, I can’t help but notice the amount of PR bashing going on. It’s disheartening, and just like how a few bad eggs can give the impression that an entire group behave a certain way, so too can one bad PR. Now don’t get me wrong, there are some terrible PR professionals out there, and as a blogger, I’ve been on the receiving end of them. Whether it’s being uninvited to an event an hour before, being treated as inferior to journalists or being seen only as a set of stats and not as a person who loves creating content. Trust me, I’ve been there, I know how crap it is and it’s undoubtedly shaped the way I develop the PR strategy for the brand I represent.
That said, you only have to take a look at the hashtag #PRFail or look up certain Twitter accounts to see the amount of unnecessary PR bashing going on. There’s an increasing trend by some – and I mean some – of not giving PRs enough credit, for example, that we don’t actually know anything about the brands/products we represent, that we don’t know when a blogger has paid for their following or that we only look at statistics and don’t take content into account. Obviously, there are some PR agencies, in-house press teams and PR professionals that are better than others, as is the case with any industry. Some have terrible practices (hello cold calling) and make huge mistakes, but I promise you, we’re not all bad! Some of us really, really believe in, and care about, the brands we represent and want to showcase this to the best of our ability. Some of us aren’t only concerned with stats. Some of us do treat journalists and bloggers as equals. Some of us do our research before we work with someone to ensure we’re not having the wool pulled over eyes etc… I’m sure you get my point.
I guess what I’m ultimately trying to say is if you work with PRs, please don’t paint us all with the same brush. Not all of us are “professional bullshitters” as I’ve seen some Twitter conversations refer to us as. I absolutely know that most people don’t think this at all, but for those that do, I just wanted to have my two cents. I personally want to be the best PR Manager I can be which means I do my research, try to be as professional as possible and am always open and honest with the people I work with. Just like I’m sure lots of other PR professionals do too.
Now that I’ve got that off my chest, normal beauty blogging can resume!