PRs & Hacks – time to call a truce?

January 14, 2009

Surely not?!

Well, according to this from PR man Paul Seaman, the time could well be nigh.

Seaman argues, and very eloquently, that the age of  Churnalism is reaching something of a zenith, and given the increasingly dramatic economic conditions in which the average journalist is operating, the need for collaboration between PRs and the Press has never been greater. More editorial cutbacks means increased deadline pressure.

Maybe this should be amended to the need for effective PR has never been greater. The likes of Rubella Pymley-Bowles from Ostentatious PR will always receive a frosty welcome from any time-pressured Editor.

The PR fluff still rains down on my Inbox daily, Recession or no Recession. It would appear that there are still a sizeable number of UK-based Clients still in the position financially to fork out PR Fees for the production of editorial turds for Media consumption from jumped-up Account Executives, being driven mercilessly and thoughtlessly forward by number-crunching Account Directors and the like. This, of course, adds no value to my Readerships on the magazines I edit – and never will.

That said, if the tiny percentage of decent PRs – and I can currently count them on 1 hand only – can continue to demonstrate a true collaboration, deliver the goods on deadline, commit to producing editorial which adds value for my audiences, whilst remaining sensitive to the demands of a burgeoning Inbox filled with PR fluff and poorly-veiled ‘editorial’ sales adverts…then maybe we can see a more productive interaction between editorial and PR in 2009.


That aside, Seaman’s observations are well worth a read: whether you’re running a newsroom or delivering PR.


4 Responses to “PRs & Hacks – time to call a truce?”

  1. bristoleditor said

    Hi Michael

    Many thanks for your link and inputs – your List of how to manage PRs is humourous, if not entirely accurate!

    Not all journalists rant you know – unless provoked by poorly-delivered media relations, of course…


    Bristol Editor

  2. When I was in college we were thought to practice PR in the ‘decent’ qualitive way. As a PR jobseeker I find it increasingly upsetting to see that the occurrence of innefective and badly practiced spam PR is still de riguer.

    We both need each other but we both need to understand each others needs. PR has to start holding hands and listening instead of churning out tat chat-up lines and aimlessly grabbing the media’s cleavage.

  3. bristoleditor said

    Hi Thomas

    Thanks for your inputs – nice blog you have too. A good balance of information and education, and the PR details are nicely-mixed in.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your comments around understanding needs: of course, the Media need PRs, but the way in which the media relationship is often played out is non-productive, time-consuming and not particularly-intelligently delivered.

    I know from my experience – and although Michael has commented on a ‘mere’ 250 PR emails a day – when the deadlines are looming, the magazines are requiring additional editorial producing, the sales teams are working against the clock, and other marketing tools hooked around the magazines are all in action, there is VERY little time to maintain editorial patience with poor PRs.

    Actually, I’d operate the same if I had 25 PR emails per day, let alone 250. I wish you well, and am sure you’ll be delivering great media relations for clients across Ireland in 2009. Good luck!

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