I focus in this blog on West Michigan, but a Washington Post column making light of bad PR professionals is too good to pass up.
I was alerted to the article by Jason Manshum, a former student of mine now working at Bronson Health. As Jason points out, the article is negative about PR but all too true about some PR professionals.
I like to think that the good number of PR folks I know in West Michigan don't right as badly as the examples in the Post article. But I'm not seeing everything either.
The causes of such poor PR could be lack of a good PR education, not getting professional development at a WMPRSA workshop, or being coerced by management to sending out such tripe to the media.
But in any event, exposing such bad practice may not be a bad thing if it helps some bad practitioners shape up. I said as much when I wrote the author, Mr. Weingarten, the following response to his column:
"I teach public relations at Grand Valley State University (in Michigan) and was just alerted to your column about PR people by a former student of mine.
I loved it, agree with it, laughed out loud at it, and will make it required reading in all future Media Relations classes I teach.
Many of us in PR appreciate it when the practitioners who practice badly, or unethically, are exposed. I hope in some way it helps enhance the profession. At least in the short term, those who are good PR professionals--whether they do media relations or any of a host of other things PR involves these days--will stand out against the ones lacking in skill, educational background, or perspective."