One of the worst ways that PR agencies rip off their clients is by forcing new hires to make those idiot phone calls to journalists asking questions like “I’m just calling to see if you got my news release and if you know when it will be printed?”
These calls infuriate the reporters. The company mentioned in the news release looks bad. The agency comes across as naive and clueless. And the poor client gets billed an hourly rate for all this foolishness.
I posted an item about this in my blog back in September. And I was reminded about it this morning when I read the Daily Dog, the new blog from the folks at Bulldog Reporter.
Jim Sinkinson, Bulldog’s publisher, wrote an excellent article about this problem and said it better than I ever could. Titled “Banish the PR Flunky,” it takes PR firms to task for forcing new hires to bother journalists—sometimes on deadline—with these calls.
Because my company is mentioned in several media directories, I get these same calls, too. And when I do, I want to reach right into the phone and choke the Brittany, or the Jessica, or the Kaitlyn on the other end.
So here’s the deal. If you work in the media and you get one of these calls and you’re willing to go on the record, I’m willing to expose the PR agency. Just ask them what agency they’re from, post a response right here and maybe together we can shame enough agencies into ending this ridiculous and nonproductive practice.
By the way, I’ve been hounding the folks at Bulldog for months to finally start a blog. Their excellent content, previously emailed, was never available online. Thanks to their new blog, the PR world is a better place. Give ’em a whole bag of doggie treats.