Have you been ripped off, lied to
or otherwise had your time and money wasted by
a scumbag masquerading as a
Public Relations agent?
Then send us your PR horror story now!
In the meantime, here’s an article with some tips about how to spot a good, and
a bad, PR agent
Classical Athens is traditionally considered the world’s first democracy. It is
not surprising that it soon produced the world’s first PR agent.
He was Antiphon of Rhamnus. He made a living writing speeches to be delivered by
other people. He was said to be very good in that capacity. He only ever delivered
one speech himself. That was when he was on trial for treason. He was found guilty
and condemned to death.
The world’s last PR agent will be the False Prophet who, according to the Book of
Revelation, will persuade the whole Earth to worship the Beast. The False Prophet
and the Beast will then be thrown together into the Lake of Fire.
Many who have dealt with PR agents will feel that there is something appropriate
about the fate of the first and the last of the breed.
It is all too easy to be cynical about the whole public relations, advertising,
and marketing sector, but it performs a valuable role in the free market.
If consumers are to make an informed choice, they need to be fully aware of the
products and services on offer, and also know who is providing them. In the information
overload that is modern culture, a good PR agent can draw the attention of someone
in need of a product or service to the person or business best able to meet that
need. That benefits both the consumer and the provider.
However, since there are no barriers to anyone calling themselves a PR agent, it
is often difficult to tell the good from the bad.
The best rule of thumb is to be very careful of those who make extravagant claims
of what they can do. Those who set realistic targets are more likely to be experienced
professionals who know what they can do.
Those who make extravagant claims tend to generalise and are often short on specifics.
The competent professional is prepared to set targets and work to schedules.
It is not surprising that those willing to work to targets and schedules are also
those willing to be paid on attainment or completion. Those who deal with intangibles,
on the other hand, tend to charge by the hour. They exploit the open ended commitment
and rack up the chargeable hours.
So it is vital that, from the beginning, one pins the PR agent down to a fixed job
for fixed prices. Those unwilling to commit to that are most likely to prove incapable
of providing the service required.
Once a contract is underway, there may be warning signs which should be addressed
at once. There may be a lackadaisical attitude to deadlines. There is no sense of
urgency. There are a lot of paper reports but little action. Complaints are met
with poor excuses and vague promises. Obvious failures are proclaimed as successes.
The agent does not listen to what the client says, so that the same points have
to be repeated again and again. Services are provided which were not the ones requested.
Big name contacts are promised but not made. Press releases contain basic errors
of grammar and spelling. Interim invoices may be greater than expected. Retainers
are demanded up front.
Faced with these warning signs, the best option is to cut one’s losses and run:
fire without hesitation the PR agent that starts exhibiting any such habits.
...and then nominate him for our competition!
© Agincourt Productions