Anyone Can Do PR — Easy As 1, 2, 3

ImageWhy pay big money to a PR firm when it’s so easy to get media coverage? Here’s how to do it on your own.

That’s the sub-head of sales guru Geoffrey James’ most recent post in

What the…?

Wait.  There’s more.

PR firms can be pricey and they’re often not all that good at landing media coverage,” James says.

I know people who are paying as much $10,000 a month to a PR firm and getting very little out of it,” he continued

Said Mr. James:  “And that’s sad, because PR–getting positive media coverage–isn’t all that difficult.”

A bit later in the post, James throws PR a bone with, “I should probably note that there’s some ‘art’ involved in figuring out story angles.”

But he no sooner giveth that he taketh away with:  “…and most PR folk don’t do it very well.”

In his next breadth, he pretty much throws the newspaper reporting profession under the bus with, “If you need help, consider hiring an out-of-work newspaper reporter. There are plenty to go around.”

Perhaps James — who writes mostly about sales and marketing for Inc. — woke up on the wrong side of the bed following a bad experience with a public relations agency and then decided to trash the entire industry.

Or, perhaps he really believes that generating favorable media coverage is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

What is for certain is that James has a pretty low opinion of an industry that is growing about 8 per cent a year, generates nearly $11B in annual revenue and employs nearly 75,000 people around the globe, according to The Holmes Report.

So at least a few companies — from start-ups to global organizations — see the value in hiring a PR agency.

Granted, James’ post is focused on new companies vs. larger, well-established ones.  But at the same time, encouraging entrepreneurs to do their own PR is encouraging them to take their eye off of their core competency (developing a product, building out a service offering, etc.) and to drink their own Kool-Aid as not only do PR people develop their skills and media relationships over the course of years, but they are the best at sniffing out the B.S. that some entrepreneurs try to pass off as news.

After James takes his readers through the very basics of PR, he concludes his post with, “As you can see, there’s no big mystery to doing PR work.”

What the … Mr. James?  As one of his readers commented, with his advice James is giving false hope to business owners.  Don’t fall for it.


2 thoughts on “Anyone Can Do PR — Easy As 1, 2, 3

  1. Perhaps Mr. James should consult with former journos who have crossed over to “the dark side” and ask them how ABC it is to “land placements” and discover that PR isn’t solely about landing placements. As with journalism and any other endeavor, there’s PR done well, and PR done poorly, but PR is ever the easy scapegoat for cranky journalists.

  2. The article you reference bears an uncanny resemblance to one published a couple of months ago. Honestly, if I didn’t know that the earlier article was written by an Asian-American guy – which Geoffrey James clearly is not – I would think it was the same piece. But that would be plagiarism, wouldn’t it? Regardless, there is nothing new in his carping. Good on you for calling it out.

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