Can rogue agency bring PR industry into disrepute?

Truth and Lies

Image © Shutterstock / 3D_creation

Years ago I worked for Trinity Mirror PLC running a portfolio of magazines, one of which was a trade journal for estate agents. I was responsible for the journalists and the commercial team. The revenue came from subscriptions (so the journalism had to be good), events and ads in the mag. Many of the advertisers were recruitment consultants.

It was a triple whammy of some of the most despised professions: estate agency, journalism, and recruitment.

You can justify many of the criticisms of these (and other) professions, of course. But that doesn’t mean that all journalists make up fake news, or that all estate agents are unscrupulous, or even that all recruitment consultants are bottom feeders.

The PR and marketing industries get their share of criticism too. Have you heard this morning’s news about a City of London, blue-chip PR firm being expelled from the Public Relations and Communications Association for being “unethical and unprofessional” and bringing the industry into disrepute?

You might ask if it is actually even possible to bring the PR industry into disrepute. You would be wrong, and missing the point, but some people do have a jaundiced view of PR and communications – and you can’t necessarily blame them.

But good and ethical PR (and marketing) is most definitely not about telling lies, spinning facts, or creating hyperbole around mediocre products and services. It is about clarity and simplification of your message, so you can inform and educate your (clearly and tightly defined) segmented audiences – and build relationships in which you gain their trust and respect.

Good, ethical PR gives already excellent small businesses and social enterprises the media coverage that you deserve in the most appropriate media for you at the time. And a good PR agency should be honest with you, telling you whether your message is strong enough to deserve media attention and the type of coverage you are likely to achieve – and coming up with creative ways to help you re-purpose your content too.

A great agency will help you to identify the most newsworthy stories in your business (and from you and your team), refine your message to journalists, clarify and simplify your pitch, and broker relevant coverage for you based on their own relationships. But a truly great agency (like, say, Keep Your Fork Ltd where I’m a senior associate) will only do this if they believe in what you do and why. Any agency worth working with won’t take your money if they don’t believe in you and your business.

Want to know more? Then I’d like to offer you breakfast

Specifically, breakfast on the 28th of September at the wonderful Inox Dine in Sheffield. Come along to my talk about Why your business should have a communications strategy – and how to measure the effectiveness of that strategy.

I’ll run through three key things most businesses completely miss in their communications plans which, if you implement them, will transform your results.

You’ll gain an insight into how to implement an effective, integrated and measurable communication and marketing strategy in your business. You’ll get a super breakfast too. Here are the details including how to book

What next?

  • Reserve a place at the Inox Dine business breakfast on 28 September
  • join the VeitchVantage list (below) – for FREE tips, advice, interviews and analysis to help grow your business or social enterprise

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