Anyhow, I did find Jeff Pulver's post today worth noting. Jeff has definitely had an on-again off-again relationship with PR firms, and I'm sure that's how a lot of people feel. Regular followers of Jeff's blog will be familiar with posts he often puts up in advance of his conferences, giving PR firms some advice on how best to prospect during and around his events.
So, in today's post, Jeff lays it all out on the line. He's very direct in what he wants/expects and what he doesn't. I'm sure anyone reading through this will recognize at least one if not more of the issues Jeff has with PR firms. On the other hand, as some of the comments indicate, Jeff's overall expectations are bit idealistic, but that's ok. The client is certainly entitled to his opinion, and if you make your wish list clear, then hopefully,this will attract the right kind of agency who will cater to those needs.
It's no different than online dating. You're trying to find a complementary partner, and whether your needs/wants make sense to the general public, at least you're laying the specs out there. This approach will likely limit the field of agencies willing to work this way, but how else will you get what you want?
I'm sure there are lots of agencies who will say they know more about how to define a client's PR needs - and meet them - than the client, and they have a business to run too. Obviously, Jeff has been down this road enough times to conclude that these agencies are few and far between, so he's got a pretty good idea of what hasn't worked.
So, what to make of Jeff's post? Is it just a rant about PR, or a not-so-subtle RFP/RFI? I think it's both, and he's just setting the boundaries now. Of course, the PR agency must also accept that Jeff has an opinion and isn't afraid to use it. So, if you don't deliver, the very blog that got you the job will also serve to broadcast your shortcomings (although I know Jeff has the good sense to protect the innocent by leaving them nameless). So, if you're up to the challenge and are willing/able to play by Jeff's rules, you just might have a new client. Any takers?
Technorati tags: Jeff Pulver, Jon Arnold, public relations