Thursday, 24 September 2009

Why PRs should die

I get sent at least 150 emails a day - it used to be significantly more.
I estimate that just 10 per cent are actually pertinent or useful.
Since I started here I have junked every single press release or crank email I get sent which has zero relevance to my patches.
Daily I still junk scores of emails.
Only a handful are from people with obvious mental disorders. The rest are from supposedly professional public relations people.
Do PR wankers really sit in their offices and consider the pap they have written so valuable they feel they have to share it with every mother fucker?
Or do they actually think that sending a poorly written press release to a newspaper some 200 miles away from the event they are promoting is a good thing?
What I most hate is the follow up call from a hopeless tool.
Sometimes it's so obviously a work experience idiot. Other times I hope it's a work experience idiot because I can't believe someone who cannot even speak legibly on the phone has a job in PR. (I actually can)
Today some dimwit thought I might be interested in a national initiative from some piss poor supermarket chain.
I asked what exactly was the connection with my patch.
"We have a store in your area," was the retarded reply.
Fuck off, was mine.
If I was to use every tedious puff a large corporation with branches everywhere put out where in the name of God would I stick the actual news?
Another reason why PRs should be shot is their chirpy voices selling their shitty wares.
"Hi, I'm Clayre/Arabella/Charlotte from Blahblahbollocks PR and I have got a great story for you. We've done a survey/asked a tramp/held a seance and discovered that INSERT NAME HERE has the ugliest/smelliest/smallest people in the world.
"No you can't see the actual survey and we can't actually quantify it, but we have a new make up/deodorant/platform shoe product that will solve INSERT NAME HERE's problem."
You fucking shower of overpaid cunts.
I honestly had an INSERT NAME HERE press release that someone had forgotten to fill in.
It's on our wall of shame along with all the other press releases that look like they have been written by a 12-year-old dyslexic turd.
PRs - some advice.
Target your audience.
Know your target newspaper's deadlines.
Stop pestering the editors with calls.
Find an actual story.
Fuck off.
Kill yourselves.


  1. Classic stuff - point well made.
    But could probably have done with 50 per cent less bad language.
    Having played both sides of the fence, I know where you are coming from.
    I am happy to confirm I am not planning to rename myself Arabella!

  2. I have typing tourettes.......

  3. No, think the bad language is actually pretty essential on this one... It's a tough job though. Ours is better

  4. One of my colleagues had a email from a PR company today on some bloke opening a franchise slimming shop. Far from great, but he gave the guy a bell to see if there was a decent line in it.
    During the interview, said shopowner revealed he also had a part-time job, and then got so worried we were going to use that in the paper he insisted my colleague send him written confirmation that he wouldn't.
    When my colleague politely told him to foxtrot oscar, he got the PR company to call up demanding we sent said letter.
    Or what? Or they wouldn't let us run the story apparently.
    1) you don't tell us what we'll run; 2) do you really think trying to threaten us is going to result in your poxy story getting in the paper; 3) my colleague could barely be bothered to write that rubbish, let alone a letter to you.
    Final result: story will never get close to the light of day.
    But I'd bet that fool PRs wages that she earns at least twice as much as my colleague, a senior reporter who has had exclusives make the front of two national papers this year.
    Wrong on so many levels.

  5. Everytime I see a journalist write something like this, a little part of me dies. I'm a PR. Or I should say a 'PR Wanker' as you so eloquently phrase it.

    I'd like to add, we're not all like that. Infact, some of us actually consult our clients and tell them if something isn't newsworthy, rather than touting it round every paper/site/blog in the dire hope of getting a coveted media 'hit'.

    However, for every agency that consults, there is another that has a 'siege mentallity' and is desperate for a retained client. It doesn't make it right. It doesn't make your job any easier. But perhaps a little less loathing could be generated by you and your fellow hacks?

  6. I like bad language, I also like the world 'cunt'. Good work!

  7. I'd like to say the rant was well-written - but can people actually (as you put it) 'speak legibly', on the phone or otherwise?

  8. It is not possible to 'speak legibly on the phone'. You may be thinking of a fax machine.

  9. I had a particularly busy deadline day this week (as usual, as we all do!) and with about 90 mins to go received an email from a PR wench re. funds being used to purchase specialist sports gear for disabled kids across the UK. The paper was more or less full apart from the front and page 3 lead, but with both stories well on the way I made an enquiry to see if there was a local link - the story had potential for a decent filler if classified bust.

    So I made an enquiry and after explaining where my patch was, the PR offered me an interview with the family of one of the kids who lived about 150 miles away. "Try again" I said and she surprised me by revealing that one kid was actually in the county containing my patch. "This is a big county" I replied, and the dumb bitch finally disclosed that there was indeed a kid on my patch receiving funds from the scheme - but that the parents had demanded that both the kid and family remain anonymous.

    So, to all PR folks - whose duties, let's not forget, include increasing the already ridiculous work load of reporters - my message is simple; in the words of Al Pacino's character in 'Heat', don't waste my mother-fucking time!!

  10. Interesting article. Spectacularly flawed, but interesting.

  11. Flawed how?
    Sounds spot on to me.

  12. Lazy journalsits who can't be bothered to get off their asses would be in trouble if it wasn't for the stream of newsworthy copy many PR's provide them with. Don't tar everyone with the same brush. This guy obviously thinks he is very important!

  13. No serious journos expect PRs to provide them with 'newsworthy copy'

  14. Why jumped up, mouthy, Jeremy Clarkson wannabe, shitpiece hacks should die...

    First of all, I'm not in PR, I know a few people who are, but I used to be a journo and work in the industry so I feel I need to say this.

    Having the rare advantage of a login to Press Association and Bloomberg - I can inform your readers now that you have taken at least 50% of the bollocks you have written from these sources over the past 12 months...don't lie it would be easy to prove.

    Secondly, do you ever really 'track down' a story in the traditional sense or do you, as nearly all hacks do, wait for one of your 'sources' to serve you up a story while sat infront of your computer refreshing twitter/PA etc?

    Finally, in my experiences PR people, whilst a tad fake at times are significantly nicer to talk to and share time with than pissy-little journos who think they've made it because they're the editor of 'The Roof Tile Times' and can tell PR people to fuck off.

    Be careful up there in your lofty position, I'd hate for you to look around and realise you're really just a tosser.

  15. I've got some news for you: I work in PR, I enjoy it, and I'm proud of it. I'm proud of the work I do, and the clients I work with.

    Are you proud of your work here?

  16. Fantastic post - couldn't agree more with it. PR is a boil on the ass of the world.

  17. Jeremy Clarkson wannabe - excellent.
    And I'm a man because I can type arse. I might even type f*ck - oops couldn't - you must be harder than me.

  18. In reply to some of the points raised by the tribe of anonymous' above.
    Firstly, if you read Blunt's comments regularly you would realise he is against lazy hacks who sit at their desks copying and pasting emails from PRs as much as he is against lazy PRs who don't check they are sending releases to the right area or send out puffs from national/multi-national corporations.
    As mentioned already any journalist worth his salt won't rely on PRs.
    No serious NEWS journo wants to be like Jeremy Clarkson. He is a columnist. Again, read the rest of this blog and you may get something of an idea where Blunt is coming from.
    That said you are sadly right that a lot of so-called journos do simply wait for the next press release to arrive. These people should get out the industry now. They are stagnating proper journalism and encouraging poor practice in newspapers and PR.
    Maybe if some of this rubbish stopped coming through lazy hacks would be forced off their arses to go out and get proper stories from all those long forgotten places, like court and council meetings.
    One final point, there is some good PR out there, but there are far, far too many timewasters. People who can't be bothered to research the area covered by the newspaper they are calling, or its publication date, or even what sections/staff the paper has (how many times have we all heard, 'hi, can I speak to your health and beauty editor?' - your joking, there is me, a junior reporter and a snapper producing this on our own).
    It does the PR company no favours as (good) journalists won't use their copy and won't want to talk to them again.

  19. Oh how cute! A bunch of journalists - so strong in their convictions - that they all run along using annonymous comments in an annonymous blog - showing they have no understanding of PR.

    (I was in papers for 15 years so don't even try to bait me on this one)

    For any reporters who actually want to see what some of the differences between journalism and PR are can I suggest you go read this: .

    And if you want to slag off PRs then at least have the balls to put your name to the comments so that we can actually have debate.

  20. @Craig Lewis: I thought one of the most important things in journalism was to avoid unnecessary generalisations, yet Blunt is doing exactly that.

  21. @Craig Lewis " (how many times have we all heard, 'hi, can I speak to your health and beauty editor?' "

    Yeah, some PRs do that because they have no concept of how many are in an office. But would you rather they sent email to the whole office? Perhaps someone does have an interest in that area? When I was a junior reporter, I covered the news plus areas of interest to me.

    But what about the times reporters send out generic emails to all their contacts 'any stories'? or use the multidue of story hunting lists out there - or just call up asking 'do you do the PR for so and so' when a quick google would show you who actually does.

  22. The Fifth Yorkshireman25 September 2009 at 15:28

    Cor, it don't take much to get the PR boys and girls in a piss, do it?

  23. There's some very bad PR people out there, but to call people cunts and tell them to die. Hang your head in shame. Even if this is all just an act to get attention, still hang your head in shame.

    For the record I hope you don't get cancer in your prick or cunt. I hope you don't get fucked up the arse by a fifteen foot Mongolian warrior on a Viagra rush. I hope a naked lunatic with a chainsaw never splits you in half as you buy a 12" drill bit at B&Q in Croydon and I hope you never get farted on by a sweaty Glaswegian wearing polyester underpants who's just invented the Haggis curry.

    But I do hope you pull your head out of your arse before you suffocate on your own shit.

  24. I like PR people. They make me feel better about myself in general.
    They know they are hollow and their soul has been sucked out for the sake of a new INSERT NAME HERE toaster. I like that haunted look in their eyes behind their over-rouged cheeks or starting-to-get-shiny Next suits.
    P.s Love you

  25. Look, loads of ex-journos now work in PR - a trend that's likely to continue given the catastrophic collapse in newspaper sales and advertising revenues. I hope the day you get your P45 is some way off, but in case it isn't, you might come to feel differently about PR when you're considering alternative employment options. But best brush up on your people skills first eh?

  26. This is an old topic, very old. It's going nowhere and achieves little.

    I've also worked on both sides of the journo/PR fence and have many anecdotes of shoddiness from either camp. Recent examples include a national business hack who had to have a set of accounts explained to him because he'd got something hopelessly wrong, and a trade journo with no understanding of second sourcing his story - which started to unravel once he'd done some proper fact checking.

    But what makes me uncomfortable is the sexist tone running through a lot of what I've just read - from the grouping of a few female names as a piece of short hand for PRs, through to the use of words like "wench" and "dumb bitch."

    Fair play for wanting to get something off your chest, but don't be a sexist wanker about it.

  27. You're post has rung so true... I now realise how pointless and mundane my job as a PR is. When I've finished mass emailing journalists and regionalising a national surveyy story I am going to end it all.

  28. Gosh - all PRs are stupid and lazy and all journalists are smart, their talent only held back by the time wasting PRs.

    And then what do you know? Half the journalists become PRs.

  29. It's just struck me that we'll have the last laugh. As heinous an industry PR clearly is, print journalism is on its arse and dying out. Hate PRs as much as you want, but when you're standing outside a shopping centre in Milton Keynes in a pair of Donnay tracksuits bottoms, sipping warm Special Brew and stinking of piss, I hope a passing PRO puts a pound in your polystyrene cup and hands you a Benson.

    Actually, there's a really nasty whiff about this post as Sean points out above. Not only is it aggressively sexist, there's something a bit "Nazi" about a failing regime turning on another bunch of people based solely on subjective individual experiences that don't represent a wider community.

    Mind you, Hitler was cunt too so no surprises eh?

  30. Personally i think 99 per cent of journos and PRs are utter wankers, and I've been both. i dunno what's worse - the faux-happy, plumby-voiced bitch who refuses to put the phone down even though you've explained to her that the launch of Lynx Excretia in Asda stores 'all across the north-west' has no interest to the mainly 50+ readers of a vaguely right wing weekly, or the sullen, muttering turd who sighs audibly at you having the audacity to bother ringing him with a story, as if being news editor of the fucking Barnet Advertiser makes him the most fucking important person in the world, and THEN goes and uses your fucking press release word for word.

    But ah well, it's a job, hey? And let's face it, PR pays better. What's that, journalistic integrity? Well name me one newspaper, radio, TV or on-line media group in the UK that isn't owned by a faceless, greedy, money-grabbing multinational with an overt agenda to rake in profits with an utter disregard for 'lefty' values like truth, freedom and justice and then tell me about integrity. Cunts.

  31. The Fifth Yorkshireman25 September 2009 at 16:07

    there's something a bit "Nazi"...

    I call Godwins Law.'s_law

    By referring to anything as Nazi you automatically lose the argument, so Blunt is right.

  32. The Fifth Yorkshireman25 September 2009 at 16:12

    Oh yeah and every single former colleague who has either jumped ship or been pushed overboard to work in PR that I have spoken to this week (around a dozen) have said how much they would dearly love to work in journalism again and how soul destroying it is to have your every word questioned by an overmanager who would know tightly written prose if it jumped up and bit them on the arse.

  33. So the author is a journalist, right? No wonder we're in a mess. Lazy, offensive and second hand. Offensive to women, offensive to people with cognitive disabilities. Actually, pretty much offensive to everyone, including most reasonably minded journalists.

    Wonder if the author has much work to do at the moment?

  34. @The Fifth Yorkshiremen:

    I just clicked on that link and one of the first pieces of info on Godwins Law is that it was created on Usenet.

    Other things created on Usenet include Internet grooming of young children and the distribution of pornographic images of minors.

    So I call the law of the anti-nerds and claim that by calling Blunt both a Nazi and Cunt I am actually the victor.

    Seriously, quoting some mythical law created on am ancient messageboard used by paedophiles and blokes that wank over laminated images of unicorns. Come on.

    You'll be quoting the Bible at me next

  35. Blunt, what a nice guy you are! What's your first name - James?

  36. Have a minute 07:57 poster - shurely if all the ever-increasingly poor rags die out which particular publication bumhole are you going to shovel/e-mail your badly written releases about bread into. You can drink from my cup outside Aldi or whatever you said. I got bored reading.

    I hate journos and PRs. I think you're both herberts.

    You wanna get a proper job. I'm a part-time zoo keeper and supplement my income by selling hair for wigs.
    It's a noble trade.

  37. "offensive to people with cognitive disabilities."


    You are Lobby Lud and I claim my five pounds

  38. Not sure about the title of this blog: Real Adventures in Journalism... Adventures? Real? I have worked for many magazines and never had any adventure and there was plenty of fakery. Not sure who you write for but the hyperbole and self worth suggests local rag. That PRs didn't do anything wrong, aside taking a bit of your time. Is that as a bad as a reporter turning up on the doorstep of a family who have lost their child and intrude in their grief? Calm down, there are worse things in this world to be angry about. Channel your anger in something a bit more worthwhile and lighten up.

  39. 07:57 poster here. Note I said print publications. There will still be loads of on-line rags to sell into. Plus, it's all going video these days. See the story by Intel today? the future of home entertainment and communication is the television.

    And anyway, anyone with a scintilla of knowledge about where PR is heading knows that it's far less about the media and more about direct to consumer interaction. We're becoming fully fledged marketeers don't you know? Read any of the trade mags - apart from PRWeek that's wank - and you'll see the trend.

    I take no pride in print media dying out, but evolution always fucks some groups up the arse harder than others. Look at the dinosaurs.

    Interesting to note that most of you people on here seem to think PR is all about press releases on some product being sold in a Supermarket somewhere in England. Not sure I recognise that part of my job.

    But then again, I'm a cunt, a herbert, a wanker, a tosser, I'm kosher mum, I'm a red sea pedestrian and I'm proud of it.

  40. PRs have to write like 12 year old dyslexic turds so that when it's copy and pasted, it's believably "written" by a journalist.

  41. To both lots, PRs and journos, get out more or get new jobs.

    Whatever you do, stop this pathetic, self-important whining. It's demeaning for both of you.

    Seriously bored. Shut up.

  42. direct to consumer interaction

    fully fledged marketeers

    I'm a red sea pedestrian and I'm proud of it.

    You cry yourself to sleep an all. Or would if you understood that you fall for anything, but most of the journo idiots on here at least stand for something.

  43. "Be careful up there in your lofty position, I'd hate for you to look around and realise you're really just a tosser".
    Couldn't have put it better myself.
    God people like you drive me insane. I work in PR, and I am good at my job (call me a show-off, can't be worse than a 'wanker') and to put all PRs in the same 'wanker' boat is like saying all journos are knobs.
    It's a career, same as yours (only better paid, I'm sure).

  44. This sort of chat really gets on my nerves - bitter journalists thinking they are better than PR people. It's a view widely held in my experience, but I struggle to see with what basis.
    I have been a journalist and understand both industries perfectly well - it shouldn't be a case of sides.

    Point well made by the way Simone.

  45. Amazing to see how many people who hate both PROs and Journalists are on here. Have we stumbled on some sort of Chumbawumba virtual day out? I smell dreadlocks and healing crystals.

    At anonymous 08:32 I'n the other anonymous who used the word scintilla and can put a sentence together. You clearly don't believe in marketing as a discipline, I do. Direct to consumer interaction is a pretty economical way of saying that we no longer focus purely on campaigns that aim to get media coverage and that we've realised that we need to start conversations with our audiences and get them to engage with brands directly and tell their friends/family about the good experiences they've had.

    I'm not sure I understand at all you cry yourself to sleep / fall for anything points. Are you suggesting I'm unhappy in my home life and have cognitive failings that make me susceptible to being hoodwinked? Not sure I recognise those traits but thanks for the character assassination.

    BTW, *love* the local dialect you used in the comment "an all" I'm imaging some bruff Northern bloke who still sells the Morning Star from a trestle table outside a 1960's shopping centre in a satellite town of Manchester.

    Keep up the good work Brother while all us other cunts just play act.

  46. "Direct to consumer interaction is a pretty economical way of saying that we no longer focus purely on campaigns that aim to get media coverage and that we've realised that we need to start conversations with our audiences and get them to engage with brands directly and tell their friends/family about the good experiences they've had."

    TBH (my version of your BTW)I think that pretty much illustrates the differences between our two worlds.

    But 08:40, good luck to you.

    And it's a 1970's shopping centre.

  47. This blog actually made me laugh out loud. I'm a PR myself and whilst I feel the post is a bit harsh by lumping us all into the same category, I also feel it should be shown to PR students and practitioners as a fantastic "how not to annoy journalists" guide.


  48. Touched a nerve here. All he suggested is that shit PRs kill themselves. Is that too much to ask?

  49. Anonymous at 08:39 - I struggle to see the basis too. I think the fact that he clearly has anger management and language issues when it comes to talking about PRs, and the fact that he considers us 'overpaid' is indication enough that there is an element of jealousy. Why else would so many hacks turn to careers PR? We're seeing it more and more, after all. We're not overpaid, we are BETTER paid. If the shoe was on the other foot, maybe he could calm down a bit...

  50. @Anonymous 08:49

    " I also feel it should be shown to PR students and practitioners as a fantastic "how not to annoy journalists" guide."

    You're a traitor to your species. What exactly would PR students learn from this? That all regional journalists are sexually aggressive pricks?

    Don't fall for the old "media are sacred" trick and find that even when they call you a cunt and hope you die you still can't berate them. Fuck beans, where's your spine?

    No all PRs are cunts and not all hacks are gods, and that works in reverse too. What this nasty little post has done is shown up that in both industries there are rotten apples.

    Just that Blunt seems to be a fucking orchard

  51. I'm a journo and don't agree with all the points but he is right about that fucking annoying follow-up call.
    "Hi I'm just calling to see if the shite release about something 300 miles from your patch was of interest."
    No, it wasn't. If it had been I'd have phoned you and asked you for more details. Retard.

  52. This is remarkable. Yet another busy journalist manages to find the time to post yet another PR-bashing blog when they should probably be spending their time more wisely.

    There are too many journalists covering too few stories. Do something useful with your life mate.
    Stop writing. There are better journalists writing better stories.
    Contribute something worthwhile.
    Learn a skill such as plumbing/carpentry/pipe-fitting/welding etc. You could be good at that.

  53. @craig mcgill, first well done on being one of the few posters on here on both sides to try and construct some sort of arguement rather than resort to the purile name calling most people have (and, yes, I know, Blunt started it!).
    However, to address your points:
    1) the anonymous comments come from both journos and PRs, not just one side, so I don't think you have a point there.
    2) this is a blog not a news article, so its a comment piece. If Blunt wants to use generalisations its his perrogative. It's his view. And its certainly captured everyone's attention so the aim has been achieved there.
    3) My point is that PRs should be making an effort to find out how many people are in the office, who does what and what kind of paper it is. I work for a paper based around hard news, which I doubt has ever run a health and beauty piece, so not only is the PR asking that questions wasting their time, they are wasting mine as well.
    And no, I have never sent out a generic email to all my contacts asking 'any stories,' I prefer to ring them individually.
    However, again, you are right - many journalists do and they are helping drag the industry down.
    A bit more care and attention on both sides would do no harm at all - as well as keeping Blun's blood pressure down...

    Ps... what's a story hunting list? If its not a new name for the crown court lisitngs I don't want to know.

  54. Holy cow! If Blunt could channel all that anger and passion into writing a novel, play, article, anything remotely constructive we may have something worth reading on our hands! =)

  55. If you want to write a Bill Hicks tribute blog, why limit yourself to PR?

    But, hey - I'm just trying to plant seeds . . . .

  56. Ouch!

    We all make mistakes, and it doesn't take much to delete an email, but you could always seek revenge on regular offenders by suggesting an interview with the client.....

  57. Hi,

    I'm Joe from Nazi PR, I wanted to touch basen as we have ein event which may be of interest to your readers.

    Top reality TV star Adolf Hitler will wow his fans by invading Poland next week.

    Yes, I know you don't cover Poland, but it's Hitler! And I'm his PR Man, Dammit!

    Speak soon

    Joe G.

  58. I cover the London Borough of Havering (pronounced 'Hay-Ver-Ring').

    There have been a number of times when I've got a call, got all excited coz this could be a good story from an angry resident, or a decent contact, who is about to give us summat we can work with.

    "Hi! I'm Jazz! From Marching Powder PR! I've got a really great survey about Havvering!"

    Me: "We don't cover that area" *slams down phone*


  59. Let's face it: hacks and PRs are, and will probably forever, be trapped in a symbiotic death-struggle, raging at one another, but equally dependent. I've worked too long in PR to have someone tell me that serious journalists don't rely on PRs. If that's the case, there aren't many serious journalists left in the world. I've given journos stories that have ended up in nationals so it's just not true.

    Here's the reality: most journalists are young, chronically underpaid and overstretched in a role that's beginning to have a questionable future. The glamour of journalism is dying and so too is much of the credibility. Journalists, like people in any profession, range from the spectacularly arrogant to extremely pleasant.

    PRs: they're split between fairly ignorant newbies - people who think PR is cool - and the people who try to perform the role seriously and professionally. The PRs this post refers to sound like the young canon fodder who get the short end of the stick and just have to ring round in a desperate attempt to please their management and clients. Most of them won't last long in the job and will go on to have an edifying career in cake-baking or being a teacher.

    There is one other thing that really pisses hacks off - the elephant in the room, so to speak. The PRs get paid more. Que sera.

  60. I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts27 September 2009 at 01:05

    Economy Klaus....
    at last a voice of sanity and reason. How the fuck did you find yourself in this scab-picking cesspit?

  61. Economy Klaus wins.

  62. Well as a PR earning over £50k a year, I have to say I don't give a rat's arse if some miserable hack is upset at getting an email or two. Journos need PRs because hacks are either tied to the office by cost cutting accountants, too lazy to go out into the field or too thick to think up their own ideas. Equally, we PRs need hacks because it is only by having a target for our worthless drivel that we can justify an 8% pay rise this year.
    And with more councils starting their own papers and websites going ultra-local it is only a matter of time before the PR world is flooded with redundant local hacks.

  63. And lo a smug PR twat boasts about his money. Shame you don't do anything that is even remotely important.

  64. I was a hack for 15 years. I thought PRs sat around filing their nails waiting for my calls. Then I moved over to the dark side. And believe me I've done some awful crap in my time. Cringe-worthy, unethical, soul -destroying. Bet you think I'm talking about my career in PR eh? Too right I am! But I'm also referring to my days as a journalist. Editorial integrity my arse. Does anyone out there actually want to have a crack at explaining it? How many times have the journos on here been asked to run a story because someone is advertising with their publication? Or do an interview or profile with the editor or features editor's mate or cousin who has just launched a new company or brand? Sadly nepotism and advertising revenues are what rule the media world.
    Honest, genuine, hard-working, news gathering and investigative reporting is as extinct as the legendary, long, liquid lunch.
    I now work in the charity sector and am at last bloody proud to call myself a PR. I regularly speak with some great journalists who subsequently run stories which help to raise the profile of the charities I work with, challenge public perceptions about certain groups of society and demonstrate the incredible support, hard work and commitment of some amazing people - volunteers, employees, charity clients, company big wigs, local school kids etc etc. Sp where's the shame in what I do?
    I for one am happy to wake up each morning knowing I am making a difference.
    Just a question for all you journos on here though. If you spam our emails and ignore our calls how are we supposed to get to know you and your publications/readers in the first place? Perhaps if you spared us five minutes of your time when we first made contact we could establish whether it was worth trying to develop a mutually beneficial relationship or if we are wide of the mark with you and your publication and should therefore leave you in peace.
    It's like dealing with young children (and yes, I can anticipate the bitchy remarks already!). The more you ignore them the more they'll pester you until they get what they want or drive you insane. Try taking a few minutes to listen to what they're saying and you might just be presently suprised. And you'll certainly reduce the pestering and hopefully maintain some sanity at the same time!
    So a plea to all you sensible journalists out there. Allow us to ask you a few, well thought out questions and give us some honest, well mannered answers and you might be pleasantly suprised to find that some of us PRs are indeed of some worth.
    As an aside, recent changes within my rather well known, regional media group have resulted in the local papers' entertainments pages being centralised and syndicated across all papers. Can I find out who edits these pages? Well not by contacting the individual papers themselves. Even the editors and features editors don't know. They all suggested I ring head office/the main paper which I have now done several times. Reception said " 'er we don't know ", features said " 'er we don't know " and guess what news said! It's not that easy you know!

  65. PR sounds fine to me28 September 2009 at 02:25

    Anonymous immediately above - re your aside about the impossibility of finding who edits the features pages.
    I know all about this, being a 'hamster in a wheel' in the centralised design depot.
    There is no individual editing the features pages for any of those titles.
    The junior reporters (we never see them) chuck some stuff up to our cage. The melancholy git who used to be an editor, but is now called multidigital doo dah day or something, then launches this unsubbed rubble in the direction of which ever Quarker he's most got the hump with this week.
    We just crunch / stretch whatever it is into a 'content space', while wishing the clock would speed up and we can get out of this God forsaken hole. Fucking sad, isn't it?

  66. You're awfullly outspoken for someone that doesn't seem to grasp the concept of paragraphs. ;)

  67. Ah, you lot know how to make a guy's Monday morning. Sexist? Yes. Unneccessary foul language? Yes. Hugely entertaining? Hell yes!!

    As a former hack and now an in-house PR boss, I can agree with both sides. But long may the sad and lazy PR fluff puppy continue - they make me look damn good by comparison ;o)

  68. Is the writer upset that the overpaid PRs are doing perhaps just as tedious a job as his but with a considerably better pay packet?

  69. Wow I'm exhausted. I must admit I ran out of steam halfway through all these comments, so I'm sorry if this is repeating a point someone has already made.

    I just wanted to say that a blog post doesn't have to be an essay. It can be written quickly and therefore allowance must be made for moments of high emotion and shouts of whimsy.

    Let’s take this for what it is, a spat between a loving couple. A couple that may have been brought together by market forces but has clearly resulted in some happy times.

    After all it is hard to stay at home and make art if you have to go out hunting every day.

  70. Hi, my name's Sasha, I'm from Totally Awesome PR. I'm just noting you to ask if you got that press release I emailed you two seconds ago?

    According to recent research, it turns out that all PR people are actually really nice and everything they send you is totally relevent!!

    Mavis McMable, who used to edit a local paper 506 miles way from your town said she used 0.01% of all the stories sent to her by PR representatives.

    93% of the journalists that we called three minutes before they went to press said that without PR, they couldn't not do their jobs without our assistance. And that PR makes them happy!

    Do you think you'd be interested in using it? Can you let me know?

  71. Good post. 90% of it was probably more for your anger management than our reading pleasure, but this titbit did ring particularly true:

    "Find an actual story."

    Please could you tell that to the PR girl in my office. Because I have to pretend I endorse her drivel and it's becoming embarassing.

  72. Here be trolls.....

  73. Wow, what a party, I've never seen so many so called professional writers turn out so much trite. It's good to know Heat and Hello will never be short of staff.
    Look, it's not difficult to understand, Blunt wants PRs to kill themselves for three reasons:
    1. He has shares in the Dignitas clinic
    2. It will create PR vacancies for lack lustre hacks to fill perpetuating the breeding of new journos
    3. He's a miserable old bastard with nothing better to do because his papers are run by accountants and kids on work experience

  74. PR work alongside the marketing teams that inject money into the newspapers - where would you be without their money? .... the job centre

  75. As a journalist I am on your side of the fence. But I may just hop on over to the other side because self-important simpletons like you are bringing this patch down. There are good PRs and bad PRs. Just like in journalism and every other profession. Do your job and get over yourself you utter, utter prick. And what glorious irony that you hate people who 'speak legibly'. F*ckwit.

  76. As a PR - and I have been on both soides of the fence - several times in fact - the rant isd nothing new and stereotypical of the professional relationship whcioh is supposed to exist between the two camps. However consider this and it is a true story set arouund 1990 ie the desktop; computer had just recently come in and most communication at that time was by fax. on a roll of themographic paper.


    I once asked a temp working in the office to send over to the Business Editor of the Birmingham Evening Mail by fax, a statement just cleared by the lawyers over a delicate industrial negotiation and agreement reached with the Unions and the management of a metal castings firm which hopefully would get both sides back to work. The foundry workers had been on strike for six weeks since itr had been sold to new investors and the workers were worried about their future. In typical fashion they were camped outside the gates with the obligatory braziers well alight and a mini tented village established. To add to the mix the workforce were of 99% asian extraction.

    I handed over the file, to the temp secretary then promptly went for a long lunch (with client) as was the custom in those days (downstairs at El Vino's in Fleet Street).

    I returned at 3:45pm having left the office at Noon. I turned to the tempo and asked here is she had sent the fax. "I finished it about two minutes ago" she replied.

    She had in fact sent the statement as soon as I had left for lunch but she then continued to send the entire contents of the client file , all my confidential notes, agreements the lot.....all 368 pages.............

    I telephoned the newspaper: "We seem to have a fax which stretched three times around the newsroom." was the laconic reply. The 'hack' concerned obviously read through the entire fax but true to his word used the original statement and he knew that in my dealings with him ove the weeks I had been truthful.

    Some hacks are intelligent enough to realise that PR contacts save a lot of legwork and effectively add a couple of bodies in terms of output to the salaried staff. Without the input of PR materials many local papers would have gone out of business years ago.

    So rather that venting your spleen at the PR's who on the basis of a 900 strong mailing list isn't going to be too bothered about say 10% of the list having a flea up their backside about the press release and also knowing that many print publications will reproduce the release just topping and tailing the submission and that with a whole range of live radio intrerviews to be done back to back from the PR's office over the broadcast quality ISDN line and voice codec recently installed thats another 20 - 30 hits and finally the "b" roll broadcast quality video will be on the circit from the BT tower later in the day. I forgot to metion the blogposts, You Tube Virals and if any time is left a few follow up phone calls to the Blunt as in Scunthorpe. I'll, put you through....

  77. I love that journalists think they're better ~(and different !) from PRs because instead of writing press releases and working to get them some decent press, they just take them, regurgitate them and then add a byline. Good work.

    And I have done both so don't tell me you all work hard to chase the real story. Bollocks, news is PR driven no matter which way you look at it and unfortunately- as with journalists - you have to take the good with the bad.

    Oh and ps. You're really just annoyed because you don't get paid as much as we do. Well that's because, lets face it, for most journos out there the only real writing you do is adding an occasional unecessary adjective or editing out what was actually essential information to retain context.

    Pps/ I didn't need to rely on a whole train of swear words to make my point.

  78. But strangely you still come across as an annoying, patronising cunt. Good work.

  79. Totally irrelevant at this point in this rambling argument but just had to point out that the reference made by 'The Fifth Yorkshiremen' to Godwin's Law is spot on.

    Funny how the only people online I've ever came across who haven't heard of or deny Godwin's Law are those who have been found out by it.

  80. Christ. You know what I'm really bored of? Fucking irate fucking so called fucking journalists filling their fucking blogs with unimaginative fucking vitriol on how fucking shit fucking PR is. Change the fucking record. Try and be a little less fucking boring, then you might have less time to write a blog because you'd be too busy writing fucking editorial. We are.
    Yours sincerely, A PR wanker.

  81. Funny how you don't think we're PR cunts when you are pestering us for:

    a) free products
    b) free trips
    c) free dinners
    d) free tickets

    Fuck you!

  82. Now you understand your true worth. Jesus!

  83. I know the discussion will have moved on by now, but I just wanted to add my tuppence, not that it's worth v much.

    Firstly, I'd like to say how much I love Blunt. He's an ignorant bastard, but does it with a certain charm - like the cantankerous old bitch who sits in the corner sniping, but most of it is the truth.

    I think some of the PRs posting need to find that salt cellar and take a pinch, or failing that, do your research, and you'll find that Blunt is an annoying cock to most people, not just PRs, but he does it with flair.

    Secondly, while no-one can doubt the existence of some cracking PR professionals (I couldn't live without my local contacts in the council/NHS/hospital etc, the cold-calling can be bloody annoying if you haven't done the research, as is the annoying follow-up call. But not only is it annoying, it's damaging to further relations.

    The way my relationships work with PRs is that I have a nice chat and am v friendly, in the knowledge that we have a mutually dependent thing going on.

    But when I tell you that the event that you are covering is 100 miles away from my patch and you ask me if I can include it anyway, it makes me mad. When you pronounce the name of my city wrong, despite it having a high national profile (usually for the wrong reasons) it makes me madder still. When I tell you politely that I'm on deadline and can you please call me back tomorrow, demanding to know right then and there gets my goat. My office produces two newspapers from the same staff (three reporters) and the same phone number. When you've dialled it once and asked for the business desk and I've told you we don't have one, please don't call for the second title on EXACTLY the same number and not expect me to get ratty with you, when I'm 10 minutes from deadline and I'm trying to be nice.

    I don't think this is aimed at all PRs, and maybe those who left journalism to cross the fence lost their rhino hide when they went. But I do think there is more scope for a bit of mutual understanding

  84. Hang on. Let me get this straight. You construct a vitriolic sideswipe at PRs, primarily based on a position that they're all ignorant, and yet your piece contains possibly the stupidest term I've encounterd in a long time.

    You can't "speak legibly". Tsk. But then, you'd be aware of that, as you're a journalist. Right? Unless you were being ironic. You were being ironic, right?

    Hang on, maybe your sub didn't check the copy. Nah, that's asburd thinking about it. Because lets face it, who has ever heard of a journalist that writes hackneyed, illiterate pap, and leaves it to their subs to form it into something vaguely digestible.

    Yes, some PRs are brainless twats. Yawn. So are some journalists. Yawn, yawn. And some lawyers. And some teachers. And some musicians. Snooze.
    Hold the front page....etc etc, fade till end....

  85. Trolls abound....

  86. I like the article. Great reasons explained in the article that "Why PR should die". All the reasons explained by you are really true.

  87. "But what makes me uncomfortable is the sexist tone running through a lot of what I've just read - from the grouping of a few female names as a piece of short hand for PRs, through to the use of words like "wench" and "dumb bitch."

    Fair play for wanting to get something off your chest, but don't be a sexist wanker about it."

    If the wonderful PR person featuring in my annecdote was a bloke and I labelled him a 'dumb prick', or a 'stupid bastard', would you brand that as sexist as well? Grow a pair pal.

  88. Yikes, an angry page indeed, a lot of journos are certainly in need of anger management course (See Adam Boulton lose it in an interview with Campbell) It makes for a colourful article though. Are all PR people called Alistair and Fiona?

  89. You said it well. There was a bit of language that could have not been there however.