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The 12 Douchiest Things PR People Do

Dear public relations professionals: These 12 popular PR moves are incredibly douchey and annoying. Please stop doing them. Love, writers everywhere.

By (@JRRaphael)

March 5, 2010

The Worst PR MovesWriters and PR professionals are like spouses: Sometimes it’s love, sometimes it’s hate. Most of the time, we don’t see eye to eye. But we know we need each other, so we stick it out and just try to picture someone else while we’re doing the dirty deeds.

(The dirty deeds, in this case, are lunchtime briefings and lengthy phone calls.)

The truth, of course, is that there are plenty of PR folks who are great at their jobs. But for every PR person who gets it, there are about 10 others who are complete and utter blowhards. And every journalist, writer, and blogger deals with these delightful beings on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis.

Behold, then: the 12 douchiest things PR people do. Read them. Memorize them. Carry them around on tiny little scrolls dangling from your neck.

And for Christ’s sake, if you’re one of the people who does them, stop.

The Douchiest PR Moves of All Time

Bad PR Moves

  1. Calling us to follow up on every press release you send. We get a good dozen or two of these things every day; rest assured, if we’re planning to write about your amazing new Twitter-connected penis-measurer — the Tweenis, if we remember correctly — we’ll e-mail you back.
  2. Close second: Spamming us with the same release once every two days until we respond. The “just wanted to make sure you received this” line at the top doesn’t make things any better. A freshly attached nude photo, on the other hand, might.*
    *Hot PR chicks only, please.
  3. Trying to force us to schedule a 15-minute conference call (translation: 35-minute snoozefest) to learn mildly interesting info you could tell us in a three-sentence e-mail.
  4. Using the words “transform,” “revolutionize,” or “forever change” in your press release. Unless you’re talking about a gadget that gets chicks to blow us on-demand, tone down the goddamn rhetoric.
  5. Sending us a press release with a link to the “positive coverage” you’ve already gotten on TechCrunch this week. Listen, sister, we’re never ones to take sloppy seconds — and if you’ve been monkeying around in Arrington’s pants, your goods are definitely tainted.
  6. Making a huge issue out of our agreeing to an embargo when your announcement is about as significant as Ashton’s last tweet. This video pretty much sums it up:

  7. Maintaining a media relations department that relates with the media only when there’s a carefully prepared product announcement involved. We’re looking at you, Apple.
  8. PR Douchebag

  9. Being such an arrogant prick that you’ll actually chastise a writer for asking follow-up questions to your vague and ridiculously worded (one might even say “ham-fisted”) statement.
  10. Using absurd endorsements to try to catch our eye. Especially if said endorsements are allegedly made by Christ.
  11. Sending out press releases with your “[Reporter’s name]” prompts still intact. It’s safe to say this won’t encourage [Reporter’s name] to get back to you anytime soon.
  12. Trying to make a really weak connection with a story we wrote six months ago, obviously found through a targeted Google search. “I saw that you covered Oprah joining Twitter. I thought you might want to do a follow-up story on my client, Emma Royds, who is a strong woman making strides in social media with her new support site for absolute uggos.”
  13. Pitching us a story about a product or service you don’t fully understand. It’s the same policy we have with women and our wangs: If you can’t finish the job, don’t open your mouth and tease us. Whether we’re dealing with BJs or PRs, we don’t want to be left helplessly trying to fill in the holes alone.

(PR cowboy image: BusinessPundit.com)

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