December 2018/January 2019 – Training & Recruitment
I normally use this space to attempt some pithy observations on issues currently in the news but on this occasion I’d like to say something about a sector of the media that readers seldom encounter: public relations, or PR.
Good PR operatives understand what makes a good story and take the trouble to read the media outlets they are addressing. They are appreciated by editors and valued by their clients, who pay them a handsome fee for helping them raise their media profile.
I can think of a handful of really good PR agencies that regularly release genuinely interesting news (with good photography) and will respond intelligently to requests for more information.
But they are in a minority. Most of the press releases emailed to this magazine go straight in the bin – semi-literate, pointless, dull or just advertisements in disguise.
My favourites this year include one melodramatic tale of a contractor worried about encounters with unexploded WW2 bombs. Detailed records showed that no unexploded bombs were suspected and, sure enough, none turned up. What a story.
Then there was the supremely patronising release on behalf of a manufacturer of roofing products explaining that with the onset of winter, construction workers should take suitable precautions as temperatures are liable to fall below freezing. Really?
And on that seasonal note, I wish you all a Happy New Year (and don’t forget to wrap up…)