This is why PR sucks

Well actually I think public relations is great, but this little exchange between London PUBLICISTS is a good example of what why the profession/industry has such a lousy reputation.

Who the **** are these people? Does anyone outside a little stuck their own behind London bubble care?

Give me real people and real situations any day. PR for banks, charities, governments, campaigns, politics, technology, lawyers, doctors that’s what matters to me and most people.


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About Stuart Bruce

International communications consultant and PR trainer specialising in online public affairs, digital corporate communications, online PR and social media; frequent national media commentator and conference speaker.
  • David Tebbutt

    Thank you for highlighting 'publicists' – I was desperately searching for a term to distinguish what those folk do, compared to professional PRs.

    Then I re-read your post and noticed the capitalisation.

    To use the local vernacular, they are behaving like a bunch of infantile tossers aren't they?

    Apparently that's not the contradiction it appears. The origin of tosser is, I believe, 'toss-pot' which is about drinking.

    See definition 8 here:

  • mark

    I think you're being a bit holier than thou here…what I see is someone robustly defending their company's reputation against an unreasonable and unwarranted attack. In fact, to use the football vernacular, there's some definite tapping up going on here, so I can't blame the Golden Goose girl from going ballistic.

    In fact, she does a pretty good job at closing down the issue quickly (using facts and endorsement)…witness the rapid climbdown of the Borkowski rep. A skill I'm sure many clients would value.

    Would you not defend the reputation of BMA as strongly, if necessary? I think it's called passion.

    Whatever you might think about the worthiness of particular types of PR, you're being naive not to recognise that there's substantial business in this type of consumer PR.

  • Stuart Bruce – Wolfstar

    Mark, to be honest it was hard to follow who was who and it appeared to be a petty argument and petty subjects. And I don't have a problem with them "defending their company's reputation."

    What I do have a problem with is this being seen as representative of public relations as a whole. Surely all they were doing is publicity for a club, which is a minuscule part of what PR really is.

    What is irritating is that too many people think this is what PR is about, which is damaging to they type of organisation I talked about to whom good PR is vital.

  • Mark

    Ahh, I see…you didn't take the time to read the string properly and find out "who was who"…which makes your pretty disparaging post ("Who the **** are these people?") even more offensive.

    I don't think anyone with half a brain is going to read that string and think it's "representative of public relations as a whole" are they? Really?

    Any blog post or email about PR is almost always going to focus on a specific aspect – it's inevitably. What you seem to be saying that PR for a club is less valid than PR for, say, a bank or (god forbid) a lawyer.

    Of course it's not – and it would be a dull world if it was.

    Crikey – what do you do for fun?

  • Stuart Bruce

    But what was described isn't public relations, it was publicity, something that is different.

  • mark

    Umm, no it wasn't…it was describing an event at which press, customers and other influencers (which might be described by some as examples of an organisation's 'publics') were invited to form and foster relationships with representatives from the organisation in question. Which, to me, sounds rather like public relations.

    But as we've already established that you didn't read it properly in the first place, let's leave it, shall we?

  • James Barbour

    I think I see your point, Stuart. But there are many kinds of PR, just as there are many kinds of art, music and so on – can we really expect lovers of Wagner to appreciate MegaDeth? Or indeed vice versa?

    Regardless of one's opinions of what some might refer to as the fluffy side of PR, don't you find the exchange just a little amusing? As well as being yet another salutory lesson in the dangers of committing heat-of-the-moment thoughts to an email or blog post without taking a step back to think through the potential ramifications.

  • Stuart Bruce

    But what was described isn't public relations, it was publicity, something that is different.