Guest post: Time for a PR manifesto

The Australian PR industry has been under the spotlight more than ever before. In this guest posting, Renee Creer, New Media Director at PR firm Stellar Concepts suggests a new manifesto:

Is it just me or has PR been slammed more in the last month than in the last few years?  The industry appears to be copping it from all sides.  We’ve had:

  • Neil Shoebridge’s AFR piece titled How to lose clients and annoy reporters.  He argues that the PR industry is awash with incompetent people and outlines his top and deadly PR sins.
  • Jason Whittaker’s guest post on Mumbrella titled Precious PR hacks and why they do their clients no good.  Here, Whittaker has had enough of PRs telling him how to do his job.
  • Ed Charles, journalist and blogger, named and shamed a PR in this post after he and other food bloggers were spammed via a contact list of bloggers Charles published online.
  • Heated industry debate, in B&T magazine and online over Brisbane agency, Publicity Queen, and their promise of guaranteed publicity.

And that’s not the extent of it. So what does one in PR say or do about all of this?

We consider ourselves an agency of smart, professional people who know the media and have good relationships with journalists.  We have, on occasion, f#*$ed up, gotten it wrong, and done dumb stuff.

There are always two sides to any story or coin and may we state that the stupid and incompetent are not just confined to the PR industry!

Rather than scrap it out school yard style, we’ve decided to outline A NEW MANIFESTO FOR PR.

We promise to:

1. Not be idiots or self important show ponies

2. Not pitch stupid, irrelevant stuff to media outlets, journalists or bloggers

3. Continue to comply with spam laws

4. Limit blanket distributions where possible

5. Exercise humour

6. Get to know the media or blog’s scope and where journalists’ interests lie

7. Build reciprocal, positive relationships

8. Play nice

9. Make PR as relevant and exciting as possible

10. Always strive to be better at what we do

11. Follow up and keep our word

12. Set a positive example

13. Educate younger staff and clients on the right way to do media relations

14. Not make claims that we can’t justify or promises that we can’t keep

15. Do our research

16. Beware of fibbers and phonies

17. Try to fix things when they go wrong

18. Be patient and reasonable in the light of differences

19. Ask and learn more about how journalists work and what they need

Like to contribute?  By all means, add to the list.

Renee Creer

This posting also appears on the Stellar blog


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