Bloggers' Pet Peeves About PR
Lesser Classic Cocktails in a New Book

Top PR Peeves About Writers

PdxcwDuring Portland Cocktail Week, I was a panelist in a seminar called "PR and Writers: Can't We All Just Get Along?" 

We talked about things that PR folks do that aggravate cocktail bloggers and writers, and things that writers do to annoy PR people.

In yesterday's post, we talked about what PR folks do that bugs writers. Today here's a list of:

Top Things Drink Bloggers and Writers Do that Annoy PR Folks

Not Showing Up to Events after RSVPing
Some events are very small and very expensive to produce, and for writers to not show up makes PR people look bad in front of their client, can cost them money, and might rob that opportunity another writer may have been able to take advantage of.

Trying to Bring Guests to Intimate Events
Big parties are one thing, but intimate events/dinners/trips are another. Writers should be aware that these are work functions, not social events, and it's not appropriate to show up spouses/friends without asking. PR folks also say they get pressure from writers ("I'll only show up if my wife can come") and that this is not appropriate in many cases either.

Not RSVPing to Events
I thought it was only useful to RSVP to events if the answer is 'yes' but some PR pros say that a 'no' answer also helps because they may be holding spaces until you respond.

Getting Information Wrong
In this world where fact-checking is a rare occurrence even at top newspapers, mistakes happen. Sometimes they happen out of laziness on the writer's part. PR folks would really like it if you spelled their clients' name right, at least. 

Pay to Play
Increasingly, PR people say that bloggers are asking for money in exchange for (favorable) coverage of clients.

Lack of Feedback
In this seminar PR pros said they really hate it when writers request product samples and that's the last they hear from the writers. They need to report to their clients something, so they say it's really helpful for writers to tell them even if they don't like the product. 

PR to Writer Wish List
Here are a few things PR folks said they'd love to see from writers. I think we covered the rest in the complains above.

  • Use PR pros as a resource. Do send email asking if they have any clients doing X for upcoming stories.
  • Send updates on which publications writers are working for. This allows them to better tailor pitches (and perks) to each writer. 

 

So, what did we miss?  Any other peeves/wishes you have from writers? 

Comments

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Blake Gray

Hey Camper, did any PR people say they did pay bloggers who asked for "pay for play?"

And can you out any bloggers who ask for it?

Camper English

I don't think I've spoken to any PR person who has said that they have participated in pay-to-play, but I've never asked directly.

However, there is a lot of potential grey area in there. For example, I offer "sponsored coverage" of events and I could see how that could be interpreted as pay-to-play. Other sites have asked for giveaways in exchange for coverage, and I suppose review sites asking for bottles could be considered p-2-p in a stretch.

But I haven't specifically heard of a PR person paying cash for positive coverage on a blog.

Blair Frodelius

Interesting pair of articles. I can relate to a lot of this. One thing that happens in my realm of life is that life happens. This has caused some delays in writing reviews, and unfortunate changes of plan with RSVP's. I may have all the best intentions, but when health and finances rear their ugly heads, things change.

Overall tho', virtually all of the PR people I work with go above and beyond. I can think of a few in particular whom I consider friends.

Blair

Stephen Beaumont

To condense your post into a single line, Camper: Be polite and respectful. I find it extraordinary the number of people I encounter on a regular basis for whom the basic points of civility appear beyond their reach.

Anyone who asks for cash for coverage is neither writer nor journalist, but simple mercenary.

Camper English

Admittedly, some days I am definitely guilty of a lack of civility.

And not to justify it, but some of the pay-to-play people are former full-time employed journalists who can no longer pay the rent in our delightful new publishing world. Desperate times and all...

Meg Houston Maker

This is a good list, and I'm sure PR people would be delighted if more of us writers took heed.

I published a story about wine sample request etiquette on Palate Press last March, and given the lively commentary on that piece, believe there's a healthy appetite for this guidance.

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