PR Campaigns – The blog

September 23, 2008

What Makes a ‘Bad’ PR Agent?

Filed under: Metis PR,Uncategorized — cate415 @ 9:35 am
Tags: , , , ,

While reading some PR blogs, I happened to stumble across an article entitled “9 signs of a Bad PR Agent”.  Of course, being a student getting prepared to launch into the industry, it caught my attention.  I was quite curious to see what constitutes a ‘bad pr agent.’  Well, while I agreed with many of the reasons, some definitely caught me off guard and made me question the author.  For one, number 3 that said ‘to spend time doing their own thing instead of what you asked him to do’.  I had to question this one because often times, it seems that the client clearly doesn’t know what they want and it is up to the PR department to figure out the actual goals and objectives of the client.  Many clients it seems, knows they need a change but don’t quite understand how to reach this objective.  Thus, while the client may perceive the PR agency as doing their own thing, their own thing may be just what they need to be successful. This brings up the question, should pr agencies follow exactly in line with what the client says, or should they utilize their experience and expertise to determine what needs to be done?


Another problem I had with the article is number 8, which said ‘to spend time on elaborate plans rather than making phone calls’.  This seemed to be the ideal stereotype that most clients have when it comes to a pr campaign. They think they are hiring them specifically for publicity and the more press coverage and news stories, the more successful the campaign is.  However, what clients often fail to realize is that there must be an intensive amount of planning and research done before actually making calls and pitching ideas.  Often clients don’t realize all of the preliminary work that goes into a campaign. Thus, it seems that all of the work put in by PR professionals is under appreciated.



  1. I think that finding articles that will help you become a better PR agent is an important thing to do. It helps to better prepare you for the field you are entering into. I do not think you should criticize the list just because you do not agree with it. Use it for the tool that it can be and learn from the mistakes you see in it.

    Comment by amyfoley1975 — September 24, 2008 @ 3:41 pm | Reply

  2. […] PR addressed instead the question of what makes a good (or bad) PR practitioner. They quite rightly pointed out that clients are not always aware of what their agency can do for […]

    Pingback by Weekly roundup « PR Campaigns - The blog — September 29, 2008 @ 9:40 pm | Reply

  3. Even though I think a listing of what makes a bad PR agent is somewhat unpleasant to read when you are about to join the field, I also think that it should be a good tool for helping future PR agents, like myself as well as the class, to learn from the list and use it to make sure that you don’t find yourself doing most of those things. It doesn’t mean that the list is all-important and everything on there is true but, as the other comment on here also stated, you should just use it as a helpful aide.

    Comment by blink8521 — September 29, 2008 @ 11:58 pm | Reply

  4. I believe many companies do not know what they are getting themselves into when they hire a PR agency. Companies tend to have unreal expectations for PR agencies, which usually revolve around setting demanding goals to get press from highly reputable news sources. Unfortunately sometimes these things aren’t always possible. I believe it is important that companies do their research and become familiar with the services that PR agencies provide, so they will be able to support them in the decisions they make. I think it is vital for agencies to rely on their experience and continue to do what they know works, even though it may not be directly supported by the company. Any way that results are derived should be the main focus, not how the agencies go about producing these results. If the company was smart enough to hire a PR agency, they should be smart enough to trust their judgment and decisions.

    Comment by brittz87 — September 30, 2008 @ 12:34 am | Reply

  5. The PR professional in me would say not to follow exactly what a client says but reather hear what they have to say and mold it into a successful plan to achieve the goals and objective of a client. One of a PR agencies main goal is to see ojectives and goals that a client does not see. Therefore we may need to take a different path to reach goals and objectives that a client would not have taken or would not have suggested taking. While all of this sounds great to my PR professional side, it does not sound great to my cynical side because if the plan goes south or does not work a PR professional/PR agency is an easy scapegoat.

    Comment by erikanp2004 — September 30, 2008 @ 9:35 am | Reply

  6. People should really research what a PR agents does before selecting. Because it’s true; Most of them are in it for the money because it is very expensive. I’m a writer/author and decided to utilize a PR agent with my first book. It was okay, but could have been better, but I’ve learned how to work as a PR representative myself. For the most part, PR’s have the connections. They know who to solicit (the well known PR’s). So I say this, before selecting a PR Agent question what he or she does and work with them exclusively. Don’t leave all the planning to that PR Agent. You make sure you know where and to whom your information is going to. Research the agent or agency first. Always, becareful of false agency companies. As I mentioned before, they’re in it for the money. They don’t care about you and what you need or want.

    Comment by michellejea — January 22, 2009 @ 5:45 am | Reply

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