Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The "Oath of PR Results"

Public relations campaigns can be tricky. We often have prospective clients show up who want us to "guarantee" results. I once had a guy shove another PR agency's one sheet under my nose and point to the "empty" promise of "guaranteed" results. He relentlessly insisted I make the same "oath of results," which I could not do. In PR you cannot promise anything when it comes to the media. If you know anything about the Public Relations Society of America code of ethics, you would know that true accredited PR professionals cannot promise media placements. It's unethical to make those kinds of promises. Why? Because (while most of us would like to believe it isn't so) we don't control the media. Have you heard of unbiased news reporting? Well, if PR pros were able to control the media, everything would be quite biased. As professionals all we can do is pitch our ideas and clients and hope the media likes what they hear. And here is one for you. Some media outlets don't even accept PR pitches. They dig up their own stories. So while some unethical PR agency might promise from here to the next continent that they can produce results with specific media, good luck on that one. Unless you're Rupert Murdoch, I'm thinking not.

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