A freelance writer’s peeves about PR pros

Full-time journalists have had their say about what galls them. Here’s a fresh perspective about overpromising, hounding for coverage and grossly under-communicating realities to clients.

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There are some brilliant public relations professionals.

They are such a godsend that I take all the pins out of my PR voodoo doll and lay her out on a sun lounger with a watermelon martini.

Then there are PR pros who inspire me to jam my voodoo doll’s head in the toilet.

This is a memo to the latter group.

There are perpetrators of minor misdemeanors, of course, who fall somewhere in between. Watch out for the following offenses and offenders:

What are the felonies that push me over the edge? Here, let me offer some anecdotes.

1. Complaining without having read the copy.

On more than one occasion, I’ve sent across a PDF of the copy, and the PR contact has messaged back to express their disappointment.

“Such a shame the website credit wasn’t included,” and, “a pity there’s no mention of X client,” they say. At that point, I count up the mentions and email them back to point out there are several—usually more than agreed upon—as well as the website address.

It’s pretty galling when a PR pro writes off your efforts as worthless without even reading the piece properly.

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