What’s the worst PR advice you got!

Looking at the continuing PR roadkill that is Indigo Airlines, organisations messing up their PR, perhaps against the best PR advise available to them, is par for the course. But, what happens when the PR pro themselves get poor advise. We asked the question. Here are the answers!

The elitist PR approach, English papers only!
Vivek Sharma, senior PR manager, AdLift

“This incident happened in 2010 when I was very new in PR. The major clients that I was handling were from real estate sector and it was very common in real estate sector to organise events for every new project as the market was booming at that time. So, we were organising one event for one of our client and preparing the media invites.

In desperate need of a good PR consultant 
- Indigo Airlines
- Anti -Padmini protestors
- Theresa May
- GST advocates
- The Donald

I was advised by my seniors not to call vernacular media thinking the event would become crowded. This decision back-fired because most journalists on the beat, irrespective of whether they are with English language or vernacular media remain in contact with each other. When this information passed on from the attending journalists to the ones whom we have not invited it became a big mess. We could not answer as to why we haven’t called the vernacular media even when we remained in regular touch with them. Even the client was not happy because vernacular media has much larger readership than mainlines. This advise really became a teaching for me that every media house/person is equally important irrespective of the name they belong to.”

What’s the erm strategy!
Frenny Doshi , PR professional

“Three to five years ago strategy was a big word and every client would want to look into what other corporate was doing better that they weren’t implementing! So, the manager I was reporting to actually asked me to ape and create the same strategy PPT for 2 clients from different verticals!

What I found weird was how is one strategy going to help another client when both the clients are from very different verticals. PR professionals aping strategies without a thought is the worst PR advice we can give to anyone!”

The ‘Just get the coverage’, school of PR
Tarun Bansal, managing director, Blue Pigeon Image Management

“Usually clients turn to us and ask us to get them covered in media...But when we ask them what the value they are adding to their consumer is or what are their USP’s, they are clueless. In these cases, PR professionals try to create something out of nothing and this is what I feel should be addressed with the clients.”

PR advice only women PR professionals get!
Vaidehi Garigipati, branch head – Bengaluru, Ideosphere Consulting

‘You are too 'young' for the client to take your advice, ask your manager to recommend!’

 Muskan Mathur, PR head, Internet Moguls

“In this profession, be ready to compromise to any level in order to garner coverage and penetration of your brand in the media.”

“Going on a path of unethical ways to get fruitful outcomes is not a bad thing Muskan. Go for it. Make your mark an impression in the industry and conquer it!” These were the words of one of the pioneers in the PR industry and I was shocked and dreaded starting my career in the PR industry.”

Old Faithful PR advice

Let’s do a press conference.
Let’s send a press release.
Let’s arrange one to ones.
Let’s do a roundtable.

And of course,

Let’s do integrated PR strategies!

Lastly,  a shout out to one politician who seems to be getting really good PR advise of late, with old Hindi songs and some sly digs via a certain four legged tweeter , Pidi!

Yup, it’s Rahul Gandhi, who would have thunk it!

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