Category Archives: Public Relations Tips

One man’s austerity is another man’s opportunity

I’ve asked some of my favorite bloggers to guest blog and provide us with some of their favorite creative and affordable marketing tips.

In this post, Jay Morris takes a slightly different twist with advice on finding opportunities in adversity.

Opportunity

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” is a quote from Albert Einstein worth remembering. Image courtesy of scottchan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

For most of my career as a public relations and marketing professional, I’ve worked for organizations with fairly small communications budgets. I’ve joked that if you can afford to give me a desk, a telephone and a computer, I can do my job. The truth is, some of the best PR and marketing is done on a shoestring.

Yes, sequestration, furloughs and the gloom of austerity have darkened our doors of late, and PR folks are once again dealing with tight budgets and cutbacks. But I ask you, when have PR and marketing departments ever been flush with money?

In good times and bad, the organizations I’ve worked for have tightened their belts, reorganized and right-sized in ways that have severely impacted PR and marketing. If you want to last in this business, you truly have to be a survivor. You have to be a PR ninja, a marketing guerrilla. You have to think strategically while executing nimbly.

So here are some lessons learned from the austerity trenches:

Let go of what isn’t working or worth doing. In the 1980s, I worked for a large D.C. trade association. We were told that $1 million had to be cut from the operating budget, a lot of money back then. But in hindsight, it wasn’t enough to force us to rethink our business model or make meaningful changes. Instead, we became contortionists in our attempt to maintain member services at a reduced cost. For example, a four-page, weekly newsletter I edited and mailed to 25,000 members was “cut” by going to eight pages every two weeks. Sure, we saved a bundle of money by chopping our mailings in half, but no thought was given to the threshold question of whether we needed to continue the newsletter, much less double its issue size.

About a decade later, I was at different trade association that was suffering from a precipitous decline in membership. The axe fell again, but this time it was severe and painful. Most of my colleagues in the PR department were let go. Only two of us survived. But in building a new department from the ashes of the old one, a funny thing happened: We scrapped what wasn’t working and only focused on the essentials. We had “permission” from management and our stakeholders to reinvent public relations, albeit at a reduced level. Some of our best work came out of this period.

Jim Collins has said for years that businesses need to simplify and concentrate on what they do best. Great business leaders know when to eliminate those things that aren’t working. Sometimes those decisions are painful, but they almost always result in greater success than sticking with the status quo. Collins wrote an article for USA Today a few years ago about his annual “stop doing” list. It’s a great read and will get you thinking about what you need to really focus on in your life and career.

Leverage the resources you have. One of the organizations I worked for was a federation of about 1,000 state and local associations. In creating a nationwide network of media relations and community outreach volunteers, we were able to accomplish much more than we ever could have done on our own—and at a fraction of the cost. Collaborative thinking, strong volunteer leadership and a unified purpose helped us forge cooperative alliances with our state and local affiliates.

We developed training materials, held workshops and provided numerous “best-practice” examples of good public relations. We also recognized outstanding PR and community service initiatives through a national awards program. The training and recognition ensured that our volunteers were singing from the same songbook. In fact, we wrote the songbook, so in that way we shaped the message all across the country!

Out of adversity comes opportunity. It’s a hard truth to accept, but setbacks can become crucibles for positive change and growth. Anything that disrupts your routine, forces you to reexamine your goals or makes you change course can be a good thing in the end. Early in my career, I was reorganized out of the PR department I loved and into the government relations department. At the time I was upset and fought the change. As it turns out, I had the opportunity to work for one of the best bosses I’ve ever had. In my new role, I learned the ways of Washington, spent time on Capitol Hill, wrote testimony and issue papers, and spoke to reporters about legislative and regulatory concerns. It was a great training ground for my later job as a public affairs director.

Believe in yourself. It often seems that everyone in an organization is a PR pro—except you. Accountants, attorneys, lobbyists and IT people are accorded expert status, but the lowly PR guy gets no respect. Everyone tells him how to do his job or fails to tell him what he needs to know to do his job. Once, when I was working day and night to execute a name and logo change for an organization, the head of IT came by to see me and sketched on a piece of scrap paper the logo that he felt was the perfect solution for us. While well intentioned, his visit reminded me that outsiders tend to view our work as easy or superfluous. This mentality, unfortunately, puts PR budgets and staff at higher risk for cuts. Some of this goes with the territory, but some of it can be prevented by believing in yourself and your capabilities, doing your homework and demonstrating that PR and marketing can make important contributions to the bottom line.

The one distinct advantage that PR and marketing people have (or should have) over everyone else is their creativity, their willingness to think outside the box. That’s huge, and it’s our saving grace when the meat cleaver of budget cuts falls unevenly or austerity comes knocking at our door.

Jay Morris is president of Jay Morris Communications LLC, an independent marketing and PR firm in Alexandria, Va. He blogs at wayward journey.com and tweets at @JayMorCom. He also serves on the boards of PRSA-NCC and the Independent Public Relations Alliance.

Social Media Week DC Report: Media Relations Tips from Synaptic Digital

Laura Pair, VP, Media Relations, Synaptic Digital

Laura Pair, VP, Media Relations, Synaptic Digital

I attended my first Social Media Week DC event this morning and it was very well done.  Synaptic Digital presented a panel of four experts at the National Press Club who spoke on various aspects of media relations, one of whom was their engaging Media Relations VP, Laura Pair.

With ten years of media relations experience (in addition to other career experience), Laura shared ten lessons learned about media relations.

Her first point was that media relations professionals serve as a bridge connecting the needs of two “masters:” their clients and journalists.  “We need to help [clients] craft their message and we need to craft the message to suit the media,” Laura stated.

In her second point, she mentioned that it was the media relations professional’s job to help the client define their goals:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What is the crux of your messsage?
  • What do you want people to do?

The third lesson she cited was the importance of consuming the media you are pitching. With online access these days, there is no excuse, says Laura, to not thoroughly examine tv and radio broadcasts, and newspapers before you pitch them, where ever they may be located.  “You can go online and watch the clips from a station in Alabama.”  There are several good media relations reasons for this approach

  • Helps you think like the journalist
  • Lets you see how much time was devoted to the topic in the broadcasts
  • Understand the weight given to the topic by the journalist
  • Observe how the stories about that topic are handled and “teased.”

“What’s the headline and the subheads?” said Laura. “Once you know how they are teasing the audience, you know how to pitch them; you can mimic it.”

“Less is more” was the pithy lesson #4.  A good media pitch should be no more than two-three sentences long.  Craft the email subject line like an attention-grabbing headline.

When pitching on the phone, keep the voice mail message very short. “If they are interested, they’ll contact you for more.”

It’s important to learn everything you can online before you pitch — the lesson #5.  “Look up everything for the topic you are pitching, especially if you are a freelancer,” said Laura, as freelancers may  not be as knowledgeable about the topic as agency staff or corporate communications departments.

Also, research the journalist online before you pitch him or her.  Look at previously written articles and Twitter profiles.  You will be able to learn how they approach certain stories and how they have covered angles in the past.

Lessson #6 was about making full use of multimedia.   TV media needs video, radio needs audio, and print media needs images.  Really, all media need video, even if they do not incorporate it in their stories.  Laura urged the audience to ask their clients for all the multimedia assets they can find before pitching the media.

One idea is to have the client produce a 1-2 minute video — not b-roll — that promotes the idea of the story to be told.  Laura said this was an especially good asset to provide to bloggers but that all journalists would find it useful as background information.  She also mentioned that b-roll was a good asset to provide to TV stations, as well.

Appropriately, lesson #7 was about social media.  Make sure everything you distribute (e.g., news releases, websites, online news rooms) can be shared socially, through hyperlinks, shareable multimedia assets, and share buttons.

Journalists are not the only conduit for your pitch and lesson #8 was about taking your client’s story directly to the audience.  For example, said Laura, if you are doing a broadcast interview, it shouldn’t be too hard to convince your spokesperson to also do a Facebook chat, Google + Hangout, or Twitter chat. “Don’t just do one-off  interviews; put your spokesperson on social media.”

Not all stories will be picked up by the national media, but local placements can make a big impact, too.  Lesson #9 was about remembering to find the local angles of your story.  “Journalists in local markets have an obligation to provide information about their community,” said Laura.

One tactic is to obtain local data (e.g., from a government source) and provide that to a reporter, such as “how many people are unemployed in Cleveland.”  Laura emphasized how journalists rely on media relations professionals to provide this type of useful information.

In her final  point, for lesson #10, Laura said that remember you are pitching to a human being.  Above all, be nice!  Respect the reporter’s time and keep your pitches short and to the point.  Learn their deadlines and get to know them. Always keep in mind that the media is your “other client.”

Laura’s presentation was very useful to me and the audience was clearly appreciative of her tips and anecdotes.  Watching the presentation was a great way to start Social Media Week DC.

 

 

 

Fletcher Prince Public Relations Services

This 1 minute video shares public relations tips and describes the PR services offered by Fletcher Prince http://www.FletcherPrince.com.  Fletcher Prince was listed among the Washington, DC area’s top 25 public relations firms by Washington Business Journal in 2012.

Blogger relations 101 — lessons from a pitching fail

Face palm: most employees handling social media just aren't trained by their own companiesSigh. Now I know how those bloggers feel when they are pitched by PR agencies.  And it doesn’t feel good.

A Weber-Shandwick AE just pitched me a story for my blog for her agency’s major, global client (cell phone holiday promo).

Trouble is, I write for eight blogs, and I co-moderate a few more.  So, which one is she targeting?  I have an idea which one would be best, but does she?

I guess I ought to feel flattered for being pitched at all — but wherever she got my name, one thing is clear: she has never looked at my blog. Any of them.

Does this inspire me to write about her client?  It does not. If I had been pitched with manners, I would have surely done it.  As it is, I am not lacking for content for that particular blog, so if she can’t go to the trouble to customize her pitch, why should I expend the effort to benefit her and her client?  After all, bloggers have egos; me more than most!

So now might be a good time to mention a few tips for pitching bloggers.  You’d think these  would be obvious — but evidently AEs at one of the most successful PR agencies in the WORLD don’t know these basics — so, a quick review.

Introduce yourself.  Who are you, Miss Lady?  I don’t know you! Just tell me who you are and what you do in the beginning of your pitch.  An email signature is not enough. I am far more likely to help you if I feel I know who you are, and why you are writing to me.  This impersonal stuff is a real turn-off.

Customize your email pitch.  You should at least mention the title of my blog in your pitch.  Come on!  And it was a little too obvious you just cut-and-paste the text of your email, as the “Dear Mary” opening was in smaller and different style font from the body copy.  Puh-leeze. That isn’t even trying.  At least make it look like it’s customized to me!  Otherwise, don’t even bother pasting my name.

Demonstrate that you have read at least one post on the blog.  Is that too much to ask?  After all, you want me to write one story.  You should at least read one story.  I think that’s fair.  To successfully pitch a blogger, you should familiarize yourself with the kinds of stories he or she writes about, their audience, etc.  When you don’t bother at all, you make me feel unimportant.

Convince the blogger this is a good idea, in other words: PITCH.  For this story and this particular blog, this would have been a piece of cake.  You could have even called me.  Make it easy for me to write about your story.  This happened to be an EXCELLENT fit for my blog, but it was pitched all wrong and the release was worse.

Blogs need visuals.  You MUST make a photo available — and ideally, also a YouTube video.  I don’t write a single blog post without a photo.  This particular story linked to a press release with no images at all — and it’s an image-rich story.  I could have used an image of the company logo, an image of the cell phone, and an image of the proposed activity, and included a YouTube video demo, as well.  With these assets, I would have done all that.  This pitch would have been a slam-dunk. Include images and YouTube video links in a multi-media release. It would have been well within the PR budget for this kind of client.

Say thank you.  You don’t have to “thank me in advance” because you don’t know if I’m going to write about this or not.  But you could close your email with thanks for considering it.  Or reading your email.  It would be an extra line but it might have closed the deal for you.

In a nutshell, effort counts, and courtesy goes a long way.

How have you successfully pitched bloggers?  What are your tips?

How do you define public relations?

We work in public relations, right?  Well, try summing up what we do in a sentence or two! Now that’s a communication challenge.

You see a LOT of definitions about public relations, and not just a few barbed quotes.

Merriam Webster defines it like this:

The business of inducing the public to have understanding for and goodwill toward a person, firm, or institution

That’s pretty good.  I kind of like this quote, too — it’s a little negative, but then it’s not too far off, honestly:

Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations. — George Orwell

Then PR Newswire posed the question on Twitter … and created a presentation of the results.  Check it out:

How do YOU define public relations?

6 Tips: How Communicators Can Prepare For Hurricane Sandy

If you are a communications consultant, agency staffer, or you work for a corporate communications department, you are probably aware of the many preparation steps you have to take in the face on an oncoming weather emergency.  But here are some more tips!

Hurricane Sandy, in all likelihood, will knock out power to many of us for days.  I remember losing power for seven days with Isabel and 5 days with the Derecho.  However, this is a slow moving hurricane. The longer tropical storm effects we may feel in the Washington metro area may prevent crews from restoring power as promptly as we would like.

We have a couple of advantages with this storm.  At least we know how severe it may be.  And we had a few days to get ready.

So, what are the special considerations for communicators? Particularly regarding social media?

1. If you have social media scheduled, you might want to scale back the promotional Tweets and Facebook Page updates.  Just put your HootSuite on “pause” or broadcast safety messages — sparingly.  Let Twitter and Facebook work to get vital response information out to the public.

2. Only communicate what you know to be true and time-stamp  your updates.  Be helpful.  There is a goldmine of helpful information for our area provided by Fairfax County Emergency Services.

3. Your tone over the next few days should be compassionate and supportive.  Humor or ranting may not be well-received.

4,  Read FCC/FEMA Tips for Communicating During an Emergency

5. Read these social media disaster communication tips from Laua Howe of the American Red Cross.

6. Check out this video we produced for communicator Susan Rink on communicating to employees during a crisis.

Good luck, and let us know what you are doing to be a prepared communicator!

 

 

 

 

 

 

PR and advertising pros support Obama and lobbyists support Romney

Six voting machines for this election!

Six voting machines for this election! (Photo credit: momboleum)

If campaign contributions can be said to be a measure of political support, then the advertising and public relations industry overwhelmingly supports the re-election of President Obama, while the lobbying industry is casting its vote for Mitt Romney, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Contributions are measured by industry, taking into account amounts  donated by the firms, their owners, their individual employees, immediate family members of employees, political action committees associated with the firm.

For the purpose of this research by the Center for Responsive Politics, public relations firms in DC that were chiefly involved with impacting legislation were lumped into the “lobbyist” category.

The advertising and public relations industry donated nearly twice the amount of money to the Obama campaign ($632,566) in 2012 as the industry did the Romney campaign ($331,763).

The lobbying industry, however, appears to favor Romney for President (see articles below), making $1,150,677 in donations to the Romney campaign in 2012 — almost four times the amount they contributed to the Obama campaign: $308,912.

Here are some interesting statistics:

The advertising and PR industry has made $5,902,941 in political campaign contributions in 2012, with 66% going to Democrats and 34% going to Republicans. By contrast, the lobbying industry (including some DC PR firms) donated more than five times that amount — $34,154,847 — to political campaigns in 2012.  Democrats had a slight edge in lobbyist contributions, receiving 53% of the total contributions to the Republicans’ 47%.

It’s notable that the majority of contributions by the advertising and public relations industry have supported Democrats for more than two decades.  And this is also true of the lobbying industry, but some years have been more closely split than others.

Nearly all of the contributions in the advertising and public relations industry this year were donations of $200 or more by individuals, as opposed to donations by PACs or soft/outside money.

In the advertising and public relations industry category, The Omicom Group made the most political campaign contributions (all campaigns, not just the Presidential one), donating $212,026 in 2012; 84% of that going to Democrats.

In the lobbying industry category, the WPP Group made the most contributions (to all campaigns in 2012), donating $1,810,140 (53% to Democrat candidates and 46% to Republicans).

90% of  political campaign contributions by Edelman (advertising and PR industry category) and associated individuals went to Democratic candidates.

Interesting, isn’t it?

This post is only REMOTELY about PR

Okay, you know I love the show “Scandal” right?

If you haven’t seen the ABC series that comes on Thursday nights, it’s about this incredible woman, Olivia Pope, who runs a crisis communications firm in Washington, DC while having a hot affair with the President of the United States, and yes, I live vicariously through every episode 🙂

But this is actually a really useful video, if we’re talking about your personal brand.

Okay, let’s get real, we’re talking about clothes. 🙂  But strong, beautiful, classy clothes.  That’s a little bit PR.  Most of all, it’s about taking away that DC stereotype of boring, conservative, navy and black clothes.

Amen.

What PR pros make in the DC area: salaries

Image representing Salary.com as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

Wonder how much people make in public relations?  Or if you’re being paid enough?  According to Salary.com, the median annual base salary for a public relations professional in the DC area is…

  • PR Specialist 1: $45,874
  • PR Specialist 2: $56,771
  • PR Specialist 3: $69,026
  • PR Specialist 4: $84,264
  • PR Manager:     $94,869
  • PR Director:      $126,165

The PRSA says these are the kinds of salaries that are typical pay at DC area public relations agencies…

  • Account Executive:              $48,400
  • Senior Account Executive: $59,600
  • Account Supervisor:            $74,400
  • Vice President:                     $113,400
  • Senior Vice President:       $141,900
  • Executive Vice President: $166,300

In corporate communications, average salaries…

  • Specialist:                       $77,300
  • Manager:                        $91,000
  • Director:                         $137,100
  • Senior Vice President: $174,500

Are there rules about PR? And if there are, can we break a few?

So Edelman went out on a limb this week and posted 10 Rules for PR Pros.  Granted, you can’t sum up all their intellectual capital in an infographic. Still, it provoked me to think about the practice of public relations, and where I agreed, and where I dissented.  Here they are:

I’m going to play Devil’s Advocate and point out the ways these rules can and should be broken!

1. Be flexible OR Stick to your guns.  You know, when someone at work asks you to be “flexible,” it’s not the same thing as wanting you to be “versatile.”  Versatility is a good thing. It’s good to have a panopoly of skills and it’s good to have the judgement and know-how to switch gears when required.  That’s versatility.

However, when your boss says they want you to be “flexible,” they generally want you to give up something you want, or stop doing something you want to do, or believe is right to do, so that he or she can achieve an objective. Sometimes, that’s what needs to happen to get the job done. But it should be the exception — not the rule.  And there are some lines that should not be crossed in the name of “flexibility.”

For example, your boss might want you to be “flexible” about working overtime — a lot of overtime, without necessarily getting compensation for that.  Or they might want you to be “flexible” about something you believe in, or a PR ethical issue.

Moral issues are rarely flexible. I remember raising a serious PR ethics issue at work once and I was told to be “flexible” about it. In graduate business school, most of my male peers in ethics class thought that women and minorities in the workplace should be “flexible” about things like not being able to attend events at exclusive, male-only golf clubs, when that real-life scenario was presented as a case study.

So, let me tell you. Flexibility is overrated in PR.  A moral compass is underrated. Choose to be versatile, by all means be nimble, but be wary of the “flexibility” demand.

2. Get the big story OR Get the story that makes an impact.  Okay, so news is “new.”  But there is a lot of important information that needs to get out there that isn’t “news.”  I was struck by this while reading the book, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes and Why by Amanda Ripley.  She made the very good point that what makes the major news isn’t always what is most important but what is most novel or unusual.

Consider the basics: life and death.  Remember bird flu?  We did not have hand sanitizer dispensers everywhere in public places before that scare.  Bird flu has killed 606 people WORLD WIDE since 2003.  None in the U.S.  Now heart disease?  That is the number one killer.  In one year, in the U.S. alone, heart disease kills more than half a million people.   We have ALL these shows about homicide, and homicides are big news.  But homicide doesn’t even make the top ten list.

So heart disease is not a news maker.  But it is important.  The information disseminated about heart disease by people who work in PR is more vital than many “big” stories in the news.  That is basically my point: big is not always better.  Lindsay Lohan is big news this week.  Lindsay Lohan is not IMPORTANT news.

3. Be profitable — OR Turn your talents to good Nothing wrong with making some money in PR, if you work for an agency.  Of course, if you work in government PR, turning a profit is not your motivation.  Neither is nonprofit PR work.  Soooo…this rule is not universally applicable.

But this is my feeling for the agencies.  Let me tell you something about Edelman.  World’s biggest PR agency.  4,000 employees. Probably would not kill them to be a bit more involved. When I was volunteering for the PRSA-NCC, I was struck that most of the board members, volunteers, and sponsors at the chapter did not come from the big agencies in town, and that disappointed me. Part of paying your dues when you make it big is giving back. When I wrapped up my work at the chapter, my parting advice to the President was: tap those large agencies.  Make them come to the table with their resources and expertise.  Get them involved.

Pro bono work is a vital part of being a public relations professional.  It’s good for the community and it’s good for your career.  It stretches your talents.

4.  Take notes — OR Give a presentation.  I’m not saying we shouldn’t all take notes, but I think it’s easy to undervalue the contribution potential of young professionals.  So let’s not relegate them to note-taking at every meeting.  Let’s hear what they have to say.  Public speaking and presentation skills are important to develop at every stage of one’s career.  So, don’t be afraid to speak up.  Sign up for those presentations and panels!  Get noticed.

5. Don’t argue OR Stand by your convictions, and be prepared to battle for them.  This was the one that probably rubbed me the wrong way the worst, given my tendencies.  To me, telling someone not to argue is like telling them not to think critically.  There are times when you should argue with your colleagues, your boss, and your clients, and hopefully everyone is professional enough to understand that that is part of the process.

You do have to fight for your ideas, and your creative direction, at times.  It would be foolish to give every client their way in everything.  It wouldn’t serve them well, in every instance. I’m not afraid to be wrong, and I’m delighted to be right, so I’m not afraid to disagree.

Arguments — or productive discussions as I would call them — can be tremendously useful.  And hey, PR is a charged industry.  Arguments are going to happen.  People can respect a supported argument.

You know people who have relationships but say they never argue?  Those people scare me.  People who never argue are giving up too much of themselves and that is never a good thing.

6. Worry OR Stop trying so hard and have some fun!  I remember getting in an elevator with a bunch of young PR folks and they ALL snapped out their Blackberrys.  Yikes, I thought. They could not turn it off.

When you go into a lot of advertising agencies, by contrast, you are struck by the sense of fun, and the creativity in the room.  You want some laughs, hang out with the advertising folks, because there are not a lot of laughs at PR parties.  Hello? There is a reason Mad Men is about advertising and not PR! And, all joking aside, advertising agencies make more money than public relations agencies.  So there must be something in this.

As a worry-wart, yes, I believe in being conscientious and paying attention to details. But I also know that truly great and creative ideas are not born under stressful conditions.  If you take care of business, and manage client expectations, you don’t need to worry so much.  PR folks could lighten up a bit.

7.  Do a survey OR Go with your gut.  You know, you can make a survey deliver all kinds of results, depending on how you engineer it.   I’m not saying surveys are not useful.  They are.  But not every creative decision should hinge on group-consensus.

Sometimes you can be fairly confident of what will work because you have experience and judgment.  Trust in your expertise.

Another thing I learned in business school: you will NEVER have enough information to make a decision, and yet you must make one, anyway.  Don’t be afraid to be decisive.  PR is important, but it’s not THAT important.  The world will not cave in because you were wrong.

8. Be a self-starter OR Know when to ask for help.   I value initiative in a public relations professional.  But the person who also checks in, communicates on the status of projects, and is humble enough to admit he or she doesn’t know something, or needs help getting through the next step — that person is invaluable, because that person values learning and wants to learn, more than he or she wants to protect his or her ego.

So is the person who gives credit where credit is due.  Kind of rare, actually, that kind of decency.

A person who is a self-starter needs little or no supervision to accomplish goals.  That just doesn’t describe the business of PR, ordinarily.  PR usually depends on the combined efforts of a group of motivated people, working as a team (and that team usually includes clients).  And there is usually plenty of supervision involved with that, particularly at the agency level.

Knowing when to ask for help, and how to ask for it.  Just as important as taking initiative.

9. Merchandise the clippings — OR Hoot about your interactions.  I’m going to be honest here and admit I have no idea what the phrase “merchandise the clippings” means.  I Googled it and I got nada.  So, something should not be a “PR rule” if nobody knows what it means!

But if I had to guess, it would mean demonstrate those results to your client.  Well, sure.  I’m all for showing them tangible results.  Clippings rate.  But today — so do social media followers, and interactions.  And sales!  And any other meaningful outcome we are trying to achieve for a client.

So maybe someone at Edelman can clarify number 9 for us.  Then I can argue with it.

10. Remember, this is a service business OR Keep a firm grip on your soul.  Yes, PR is a service business.  So is prostitution.  There are boundaries, right?  We don’t take on every slimey client who shoves money at us.  We don’t do slimey things for our clients.   We pay our interns, and we pay our employees a fair salary.   We do things the right way.   We are honest and ethical and we give back.

We have a responsibility to our clients, but our responsibilities do not end there.  We also have responsibilities to our employees, to the people who hear our messages, to our media contacts, to the PR industry as a whole, and yeah, to our kids we tuck in at night.  We should be able to look ourselves in the mirror and be okay with everything we did that day.

Not every agency can do that.  Every agency should.

Now it’s your turn!  Argue with me, agree with me, disagree with me — do anything but take notes!

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