PR: “We, er, we don’t have any news today”

One of the most interesting phenomenons I see as Editor here at Mobile Industry Review is the culture of ‘no news’ from a lot of public relations professionals I talk to.

I am delighted to talk with PRs. Some media absolutely abhor being contacted and pitched by PRs. I think it’s excellent — I’m happy to be ‘pitched’ by either PR or directly from readers and interested parties.

Regularly we’re sent news — most of it relevant, and we do our best to get it up and out. That’s fine. We don’t distinguish between PR or you, the reader. We make a value judgment as to whether we publish irrespective of who sent it.

I’m continually surprised by how many public relations professionals cannot handle the opposite. Routinely I send out a note to them asking if they’ve got any shout-outs for the weekly newsletter or the podcast. This isn’t restricted to PRs — it’s a public thing we do.

I like doing shout-outs. I think it’s a nice way of recognising efforts, launches, achievements or simply just saying ‘nice work’ to folk across the industry. Most shout-outs are a few words or a sentence. Nice and easy. If you’d like a shout-out, simply knock it over to me or to Krystal and we’ll put it in.

I like to ask the PRs too.

How many of them reply to me saying ‘No, sorry, we don’t have any news this week?’

About 80%.

Fascinating! Absolutely fascinating. I do sometimes feel like questioning this. What do you mean you’ve got ‘no news’? NOTHING has happened with your clients? Nothing… at all? What you mean is that you haven’t got a press release to issue. But you’ve most certainly got news. Surely? If you don’t, what the hell are you doing in the PR industry?

But, well, it seems a large chunk of the PR industry is stuck in broadcast mode. Happy to talk to you if they’re flogging a press release, but highly, highly unable to react to a request for a shout-out.

So, if you’ve got a PR agency working furiously on your behalf, contact me and I’ll tell you if they’re in the ‘Er, no news’ list. I do, actually, have a list of the companies. You shouldn’t be paying them if they can’t broadcast and react.

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