Top Ten Lies a PR Firm Will Tell You



It’s funny that it takes a PR firm to reveal the top lies PR firms tell their clients. BlinnPR has done just that with the following list:

  1. “This is such a terrific product/service!”
  2. “Your account is in the best possible hands…”
  3. “Our agency has deep experience with technology companies like yours.”
  4. “We’re doing all that we are supposed to do.”
  5. “We know Web 2.0″
  6. “We have great relationships with (insert high profile reporters’ names here)”
  7. “We have affiliate offices all over the world.”
  8. “We offer highly-targeted strategic public relations.”
  9. “We do a great job taking advantage of the news cycle.”
  10. “It’s not our fault, your product/service just isn’t all that compelling.”

Any of those sound familiar? Of course, you could probably take that list and apply it to any marketing channel, not just PR.

For the full details take a look at the BlinnPR release.

And, what do we know about BlinnPR?

BlinnPR effectively combines the focus of a boutique public relations agency — working smarter, faster and more efficiently — with the senior- level staff experience of a large agency.

Our people have counseled clients through financial and product communications crises; developed public relations campaigns that cut through marketplace clutter helping clients increase sales and position corporations and government agencies to be innovative leaders in their space. In short, our public relations practitioners have a single-minded focus on ensuring the long-term success for our clients.

Our services span many dimensions, from developing local, national and overseas public relations campaigns to audience-specific outreach efforts. The creation of the full range of marketing materials and broadcast public relations services are all part of the BlinnPR public relations repertoire.

Can we trust a single word of it? ;-)

PS. If you issue a press release without a link to your company site, don’t expect a link from a blogger. Sheesh, who sends out a release without the company URL?

  • http://www.wpromote.com/blog Mike Mothner

    The question here is what makes BlinnPR any more trustworthy than all of the other PR agencies out there which it claims may mislead you. It seems to me that their own statements sound just as fluffy as the top 10 supposed lies other PR firms tell us. Not to say, however, that they may be an excellent PR company, I am simply suggesting that after making a claim regarding the top 10 lies other PR firms tell us in turn makes it difficult to take their claims at face value.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Mike – I agree, hence asking can we trust their own boilerplate. ;-)

  • http://www.undergroundattraction.com ScottUA

    That’s weird that they went through the trouble of creating this press release but did a TERRIBLE job of providing us with a link back to their own site.

    I personally would NOT hire a company that makes a huge mistake like that.

    Isn’t that one of points behind PR? Make it easy to find information about your site.

  • http://www.thevanblog.com Steven Bradley

    I think we can safely assume that they’re lying if they claim to know web 2.0 (o any other version of the web) since they forgot to add their link to the press release.

    It’s kind of funny since this list seems to be designed as a form of linkbait given the top 10 list nature of the release and what I assume is meant to be humor. Granted it’s not really linkbait as it’s a press release, but if it’s hosted on the company site wouldn’t you see it as a linkbait post?

  • http://www.shavingoccam.com Tony Wright

    Think of this press release as the PR equivalent of LinkBait. They wanted to get some “publicity” out there, but forgot that in today’s world, you need to provide a link to support your claims. I’m betting there are some people at BlinnPR slapping themselves, and not because they could have had a V-8.

  • http://www.brianchappell.com Brian Chappell

    @steven

    I surely wouldn’t equate web 2.0 as remembering to put a link in your article ;)

    That is just PR failure at its simplest.

  • http://blog.schubert.com Lorena Crowley

    I’m sorry … I must have missed something. I didn’t see any NEWS in that NEWS release at all. Was that an oversight, or just a preview of BlinnPR’s next release on PR best practices? Let’s just hope that they would offer consultation to their own clients against distributing a press release just for the sake of saying so.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    I think you guys got it right. It’s linkbait gone bad.

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  • Dean

    Ok so maybe BlinnPR goofed up on their press release and was probably not only describing the industry as a whole but themselves as well. BTW, I like how their website says “Copyright 2000-2005″ Isn’t a PR Firm supposed to at least be detail-oriented.

    Frankly, I don’t think this was meant as linkbait because there is every indication that they have no clue about anything related to linkbaiting (Lie #5) Either that or they relegated the release to an junior AE (Lie #2) ;)

    Now in their defense, raise your hand if you had ever heard of BlinnPR before today…I didn’t think so. So while not doing themselves any favors they sure are getting a lot of attention. Certainly more than if they issued the standard “We are the best PR Firm” release. In fact this could turn out to be a pretty effective non-intentional linkbaiting effort…second hand of course;)

    The good news is that I am sure they are experts on reputation monitoring and will be able to navigate successfully through that…er…uh…oh wait that’s Lie #5 again.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Dean – it would have helped if they had remembered to add their URL to the release. ;-)

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  • http://www.brianchappell.com Brian Chappell

    @dean

    Heh. Browse to there ../job.html page and it says Copyright 2000-2006

    Solid.

  • Dean

    hmmm, these guys could really use an Internet Marketing / PR Consultant…anyone here know of a good one? :P

  • wrk

    could one more person comment about how there’s not a link to their site? as a b2b company that likely measures its clients in the dozens and not the hundreds or thousands, blinn probably isn’t overly concerned with driving tons of visitors to their site. plus, it doesn’t take a genius to enter “blinnpr” in google and get the link if they want it. this was likely issued as a way to raise their visibility within the advertising/pr community or to support its brand in some way. but why a company would slam the industry it’s a part of and not use it as an opportunity to show how it’s different or better is beyond me…

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @wrk – do you work for Blinn? :-)

    “blinn probably isn’t overly concerned with driving tons of visitors to their site”

    Why bother sending out a press release? Heck, why even have a web site?

    I agree with you about not suggesting a better way to do things.

  • wrk

    haha — no. but i work in-house in the corporate communications department of a startup and worked at a PR agency for 6+ years.

    like i said, driving people to their site probably wasn’t one of their top-3 objectives for the release. the PR agency business, at least when it comes to courting new clients, tends to be fairly high-touch, and involves a lot of face time. typically you can go to an agency’s site to get some additional information, see a client roster or their basic mission statement, but they aren’t destinations. it’s changing some with most agencies incorporating blogs and more timely and updated information, but most agencies are too busy trying to drive traffic to their clients’ sites than to worry about their own.

  • wrk

    i love your articles, by the way. keep ‘em coming!! :)

  • http://www.capturetheconversation.com James Clark

    Andy, as a former Tech PR firm owner, I can honestly say that most companies should fire their PR firms. The reasons are many, but the main reason is that the company themselves don’t have a story worth telling. The reason why PR firms get a bad rap is that they take on clients that have products or services that have no differentiation, evoke no emotion and can’t translate a value proposition to make it simple. If they did, they would be getting press on their own.

    The other reason is that the PR agency is clueless about how to drive conversations and capture leads. I wrote an article about this called – Fire Your PR Firm? http://www.capturetheconversation.com/fire-your-pr-firm.pdf

    I would be willing to bet that most PR firms have no idea how to access their clients’ websites, analyze and traffic data and set up systems to ensure the offline visibilty they get captures leads online.

  • http://prmeetsmarketing.wordpress.com Cece Salomon-Lee

    Interesting article. After 10 years of pr agency experience and now in-house, I find it very difficult to justify a PR firm like James states. The one thing I learned is what it will take for me to trust a PR firm again, which I highlighted in my first blog posting(http://prmeetsmarketing.wordpress.com/2007/05/).

    I also disagree with wrk about the purpose of the press release – if you don’t consider traffic an important part of making it easy in a “Web 2.0″ world, then I wouldn’t consider the agency. “Cutting through the clutter” requires allowing propsective reporters/bloggers to find your client information.

    Now here’s the interesting question, if they are going to tell me the top lies and I’m a current client – would you fire BlinnPR if you’ve heard of one of these lies? =)

  • http://www.blinnpr.com Steven Blinn

    People,

    I think instead of over analyzing the release and parsing its contents i.e., there is no URL. Just take it for what it’s worth. A news release with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

    BTW, a shorter version appeared on Silicon Alley Insider. Does anybody need the SAI URL or you can Google it. ;-)

    Cheers,
    Steven Blinn
    BlinnPR
    http://www.blinnpr.com/blog