8 Lies PR Pros Like to Tell
Good PR professionals never like to be associated with the emerging tech PR firms that consistently tell fibs, making the whole profession look bad. Unfortunately, we’ve encountered these criminals (yes, I said it) more than once in our careers.
Below are eight pet peeves of mine that I’ve heard from other so called high-tech PR pros:
1. Dear reporter: Yes, of course I can get you on the phone with two big brand name customers and the client in 30 minutes to meet your deadline.
(Real scenario: The client mentioned that it just signed those two customers, but the PR pro doesn’t really know if they can speak with the media.)
2. Dear business press reporter: I’m calling to confirm your briefing request to speak with my client in follow up to the story you wrote yesterday.
(Real scenario: The reporter never requested the briefing. The PR pro can’t get a briefing any other way than by lying about the reporter having requested it.)
3. Dear client: It’s OK that you don’t have any big investors, market confirmation, customers or a story; my firm can get you on the cover of the Wall Street Journal.
(Real scenario: The PR firm needs your business and is saying anything to get another client onboard. How do you get a story on the cover of the WSJ without having an actual story? Come on people.)
4. Dear client: Of course the reporter at XYZ publication is interested in covering the upcoming announcement.
(Real scenario: The reporter just wanted the PR pro off the phone and is not interested.)
5. Dear prospective client: Yes, we have a worldwide presence.
(Real scenario: The PR person knows someone living or working in several different countries that will let her use office space or a bedroom to stay.)
6. Dear old client: Let me dig up that U.K. customer press reference list that I had when you ended our contract last month. I’ll try to see if we still have it.
(Real scenario: The PR flak never had a list of customers and will claim that she threw it out once she stopped working with the client.)
7. Dear reporter: My client does not have any competition. The fact that Apple just launched a product in this market is confirmation enough that we’ll be successful.
(Probable real scenario: The client has no chance.)
8. Dear client: We cannot provide you with any results from our PR campaigns because you were not able to provide us with the information needed to be successful.
(Real scenario: The PR professional never pushed the client to provide her with what she needed in the first month of working together. If she did, she could at least prove that she tried.)
Unfortunately, we’re just getting started. Help us add to the list. Whadda you got?