Well, no, they’re not really, but I thought I’d just get the SEO stuff out of the way at the beginning and then I could get on with writing what I actually want to (that’s the digital world for you).
No, the real enemy of effective PR is the high ‘idiot count’ scored by the PR industry itself.
When I’m talking to any potential new client, the main problem is not convincing them that PR is a useful tool which will help them develop their business. It’s getting over the pain threshold induced by them using some buffoon in the past, who had put themselves forward as a PR professional.
So let’s get some ground rules down about what a ‘proper’ PR specialist does in comparison to someone who has a winning smile, bags of charm and the IQ of lamprey:
1) They understand your business. Really understand it. What makes it work. Who it employs. Who it makes its money from and how
2) They understand the sector you operate in. What its major drivers and issues are. And if they don’t know when they start they ask until they do.
3) They treat journalists and editors as intelligent adults with a serious job to do. Not as people who might lose emails because they can’t figure out how Outlook works or as the sort of goon who will publish any old tosh just because they’ve been sent a press release a five year old would feel insulted by.
4) They understand how the media works and they explain it to their clients so they can get best value from it.
5) They get employed because of their brains rather than, ahem, any other attribute
And if we stick to them, then we’ll all be a lot happier, won’t we?