3 Bad PR Approaches to Kiss Goodbye in 2012

An office conversation erupted recently about public relations approaches that we despise. I mean really effing hate.

We’re sharing them with you as we prepare for 2012, in hope that you’ll leave them behind when you welcome the new year- and avoid being on the receiving end of our Evil Eye Lasers of Death, lest we hear you utter any of these while in our presence.

Tampa Public RelationsSo from us- Lanette, Lorrie, Karen and Melissa- to you, we present our three most hated public relations approaches:

1. The Best Kept Secret
If your business is the best kept secret, we predict you likely won’t be in business for long. The former president of a local university once called his school a best-kept secret. We once saw a restaurant that had that slogan on their marquis. A. RESTAURANT.

Guess what? Today that restaurant is out of business.

If you feel like this slogan is a good one, please call us. We want to help you. And we promise not to beat you senseless.

2. We Have a Combined __ Years Experience
We find this heinous public relations approach used frequently by law firms. And we positively shuddered when we saw it used on Ragan’s PR Daily recently in reference to layoffs at the Denver post: “The Denver Post, for instance, accepted buyouts from 19 staffers, whose combined experience at the paper was 470 years.”

Why do companies think this approach demonstrates experience? It’s not like a “combined 117 years’ experience” means anything to cynics like us in this public relations agency.

I hear a statement like this and I think of the handful of weathered lawyers in the firm who likely have 25-30 years’ experience each, but then I think of the young punk fresh out of law school who’s been an attorney for five whole minutes. I don’t want that guy or girl. If I’m ready to kick butt in the courtroom, I’m just fine with the attorney who’s been at it only 30 years.

3. Building Buzz
OK, so we’re including this one begrudgingly. Although we here at Lorrie Walker Communications don’t recommend that our clients take part in stupid gimmicks that generate publicity but not sales, the truth is that we use this term. However, out of love and reverence for the great Peter Shankman- who hates this term- we feel it’s only fair for us to give up a lame saying of our own if we’re asking you to do the same.

Peter once said this in a webinar:

I think it would be really good if we could kill the word ‘buzz.’ Unless it’s generating revenue for your company, you’re wasting your time.

Fine, Peter. You win. And you have a point.

Public relations isn’t about stupid stunts, even though there are some crazy things people do that generate publicity and revenue.

At the end of the day, our clients want to make money. A large part of making that happen has to do with getting the word out about their business; making it known that they are the subject matter experts; demonstrating that they have a quality product by garnering earned media for the client.

If you want to accomplish any of these things for your business in 2012, call us. We’re here to help. Here’s wishing you a successful, fulfilling year ahead.

3 Responses for 3 Bad PR Approaches to Kiss Goodbye in 2012

  1. David Landis says:

    Lorrie – I’m with Peter on “building buzz.” Hate that term. Really glad you shared these thoughts and very nice to meet you – via Twitter! From sunny San Francisco, Cheers, David

  2. David Landis says:

    Lorrie – yes. I prefer to not use cliches, but that may take a few more words. In this case, I would talk about building support and awareness for a brand. Cheers, David