Some of my friends in the public relations field seemed pretty riled up over this article on The Business Times, a Singapore newspaper focused on financial news. The article is titled “The 10 things I have always wanted to say to PR folks” and lists, among other things, questions like why PR practitioners even exist.
To each his own, but here’s my viewpoint as a blogger/non-mainstream journalist/social influencer/whatever-you-want-call-online-content-publishers:
- Have you considered working with bloggers instead if you find some journalists to be too demanding? Some of us have sites with more than a million views a month. Mind you, that’s about as powerful as many of the mainstream publications. See this list.
- If mainstream journalists do not want to reply to you about when their story will be published or whether they can secure a copy for you, most bloggers will be happy to e-mail you the links for sharing on your social channels. I make it a habit to do that because I know you won’t be visiting my site every day.
- As a follow-up to point No. 2 above, most online sites and blogs are free. If you need to show one to your client, you don’t have to buy a copy. Just e-mail or message them the link. We are always happy to get more traffic.
- We are happy to share and discuss the angle of our story. However, bear in mind that usually blogging is not our full-time job. If too much effort is required, it’s better if you do an advertorial with us. Generally, we are our own boss and there is no editor for us to report to. Rest assured that what we promise, we will deliver (at least, I will). We do not need clearance from upstairs as there is no upstairs.
- We (or at least, I) believe in goodwill hunting. You scratch my back and I will scratch yours next time. You want me to report on your company’s core values and avoid asking tough questions? It’s a give-and-take situation. Answer one tough question and I’ll share one nice core value.
At the end of the day, just give me a story that can go viral or get the most eyeballs and it will be a win-win for both.
- If your client says nothing, it’s OK. I can still post a photo of him doing nothing, saying nothing, but it’s good to have a nice photo to look at in the post.
- It’s OK to say “sorry for the confusion.” We get confused sometimes, too. Just don’t confuse us as second-rate substitutes for mainstream journalists. We have our pride.
- I have been to “exclusive” events where I am lumped together with bloggers with zero or almost no traffic. It’s OK; I believe in humility. I have also been to “exclusive” events where I may be the only blogger present among a bunch of mainstream journalists who mostly see us as eyesores. I am OK with that too because I do feel exclusive.
I have also been invited to really exclusive events where I am the only media there. For that, I am really grateful. Thank you. It’s up to you how you want to cultivate our relationship.
- I will arrive 15 minutes earlier out of courtesy if you ask me to, but I may also be 15 minutes late sometimes. Give and take. You can’t really complain to my boss about me being late because I am my own boss. Hence, respect my time and I will respect yours.
- Your definition of what is important may not be the same as mine, but it’s OK. I respect that even though I may not cover it.
This post is obviously tongue-in-cheek.
Don’t take it too seriously. I meant no harm to anyone. As I said earlier, I believe in goodwill hunting.
Here’s a quote from Earl Hickey to end this post: “Do good things and good things happen. Do bad things and it’ll come back to haunt you.”
Karma is a bitch.
For your information, outside of my day job, I run three Web sites, each with it’s own pool of editorial staff: Alvinology.com, Asia 361, and The Popping Post. We love folks working in public relations.