Friday, 19 February 2010

PR people have peeves too

Leaving an empty roll on the TP rolly thing is a peeve as well.

So it's Friday, or as we would say today here in Port of Spain, "the day after Beyonce". Now the world does not revolve around Miss B. In fact, the world has been revolving around my desk but sitting at your desk all day is unhealthy. My peeves today then are:
  • Isn't it something that individuals - customers, clients, what have you,  can lash you, prattle about their grouses, but when you go to their assistance and their issues are resolved, there is silence, almost as if you were WRONG to help them. How odd. I mean, the aim is not to get public kudos but to hear some of the rants and then the sudden case of tongue-tied-itis is amazing. Some of them are negative, it seems, just to be negative and to fuel a fan base of negativity suckers. As a customer of many places myself, I understand customer grouses and appreciate when a customer has an issue, but sometimes I sense that some people just enjoy being difficult. I could be wrong, but hey. Counting to 10 is an essential skill in people relations. One run the risks of being snarky if you don't take a moment. People tend to forget we are all human and not autobots.

  • I also don't appreciate when organisations place "Contact Us" links with an e-form where you can leave a question and then guess what? Noone gets back to you. Then what's the point of the e-form? My boss went through 24 e-form questions on Monday and responded to every single one of them. I go through FB and Twitter every day and respond to people's concerns, so it's not impossible. I used a contact form 3 weeks ago and have yet to receive a response or even an acknowledgement. So clearly the form is window dressing! I called today, since clearly, noone is interested in my e-form question. Then noone answers for 38 minutes, and it reminds me why I used the form in the first place.

  • I hate spam. I especially hate FB spam. I am part of a few groups on FB, some professional groups, and God help me, they are spam artists! How many times does one need to send a message about an event in one week? While I am happy for the reminders and updates, there must be a better way to engage me without being annoying. As the admin on both personally and professionally created groups, I am always mindful of being THAT girl...who spams others. Note to marketers - amateur or otherwise - spam is not sexy and what you may think is super important or interesting, may not be to your audience. Please be cognisant of what you send and how often you send it, because if it is not urgent, then it becomes a bit of a nuisance. If you send me an email that starts with "Last Chance to..." over 5 times in a 3 day period, then clearly, it is not my last chance.
So, what are your peeves?


Hmmmm... my peeves...

I hate spin. (Not cricket of course, I have a wicked leggie and googly). I hate the kind of spin where people (usually pr, sorry) try to put a shiny gloss on a situation... now, nothing is wrong with that. You really do want the company to front up when things happen. What I object to is when their gloss takes out some of the reality... in simple English, far too often spin mean lying through your teeth.

I appreciate that it is not always (in fact quite rarely) the PR's fault, but oh gosh man, I think people would prefer to hear "okay we effed up, but this is how we dealing with it", rather than "no no no everything is fine" or "bombs? what bombs?"

"Contact Us" is also a great peeve of mine. About 3 months ago I filled out one of these forms from a local telecommunications company, whom I shall not name, to make a non-urgent enquiry. Look I accept that it was not urgent, but I did make an enquiry... to date no answer... not even a "listen we too busy to handle your s***"

I am not pleased when people come to you for advice in your professional capacity, and then when you give them that advice, they start second guessing you... WTF dude...

I hate hate hate when people invite you to something or convince you to go to a function, when they KNOW that you will not know anyone there but them, and leave you as you walk in to struggle on by yourself.

People who talk constantly about themselves, how great they are hoe much they know, when they don't know jack...

That's about it by now, I have more, but I want to finish this tonight

Kevin, points taken. I think most PR pros want to not do the fake gloss especially since today's audiences are much too savvy to buy it. Credibility comes with honesty but you would find, esp where PR pros are not really decision makers in an organisation,that sometimes CEOs don't always understand how toeing the line between disclosure and pussyfooting can affect public perception.

I also hate narcissists, but they're usually trying to convince themselves more than they are trying to convince others of this alleged greatness.

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Thanks for your comments and questions!

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