Jack Shafer, media critic for Slate, is interviewed by PRWeek. His repsonse to the question “How do you feel about PR pros?” is a poor grade for PR practitioners:
“Well, I have found, with only rare exceptions, that PR officers are impediments to journalism. They are the people who man the barricades, who salt the earth before you can get to it to plant your story. The number of times in my career that I have responded to somebody doing outreach PR, trying to convince me to do a story, and turned that overture into a story, you might be able to count on two fingers.”
I’ve read reviews like this many times and they should serve as a wake up call. Sure, I can understand that if you are the head of corporate communications at a company listed on NYSE, there’s just no room for mistakes. I’ve worked with people who acted like that, and they had good reasons. But command/control PR is not the future of our industry and every PR blogger and corporate blog out there serves as good examples of how we can move on to a more conversational model of corporate communications.