You should all tell your client these things. The MD of a PR firm sent me this – his view on ten things PR agencies should tell their client, but would probably get them fired…
1. The main reason journalists aren’t covering you is because the proposition’s crap. It has no clear differentiators over its competitors, it doesn’t offer a price or value benefit and there are no compelling reasons for people to buy it. So why should journalists write about it?
2. You can’t effectively measure the value of PR without very complex systems that will take up more time and money than your budget will allow because 90% of its value is intangible.
3. Your budget is woefully inadequate – You want the equivalent of 100 hours a month of director level time, but you’ve set it at the equivalent hourly rate of an intern.
4. It’s not our job to tell you how to run your marketing. That’s why you went to college got a monkey degree, then spent three years getting in the sales department’s way at your last employer before landing this role. And to be frank it is, at least, two steps higher than your ability.
5. We’re a PR agency, not a charity. If we spend twice as much time on your account as you pay for, we lose money. We’re in this business to make money for ourselves, not for you.
6. Paying bills late isn’t just inconvenient it’s downright rude. How would you feel if your boss told you to wait three months for your salary?
7. Pitches are a waste of everybody’s time. You’ll learn twice as much about your prospective agency over a beer than you will around a PowerPoint.
8. PR does not deliver sales leads. Period.
9. Journalists are subject to performance metrics too, they don’t exist just to act as a feed for your made up stories. They have plenty of better things to write about, and if they cover non-stories they will lose their jobs.
10. Bloggers are a waste of budget – 90% of social media activity is read by people who have nothing much better to do. So if you want to make a splash in the blogosphere get your own people to spend their leisure time on the web, don’t expect us to do it ‘for goodwill.’
Thanks Peter (you know who you are!)