Scrolling through Facebook while I was on holiday last week, I came across a post by a member of the media berating another ‘rubbish PR’ who wasn’t doing their job and apparently deserved a public flogging.
The poster ranted, responded to other anecdotes of wild unprofessionalism, and possibly, felt that a terrible wrong has been made right, making themselves feel so much better.
I’m not sure if it was a few days away from our Dubai bubble and the day to day grind of work, or perhaps it was the Spanish hospitality I had been enjoying that afternoon, but something made me sit up and say out loud, “just stop it, enough is enough”.
These posts aren’t uncommon; they’re almost an everyday occurrence but this one particularly reminded me of the Louis CK rant, ‘Everything is amazing and nobody is happy’.
I’m not saying everything is amazing right now – we are operating in uncertain times, seeing an unsettling number of titles close down, friends and associates are losing their jobs, incredible talent is going to waste, and budgets are being squeezed from every corner.
But at times, it seems nobody is happy. Could we make a pact to stop with the PR bashing?
We all know the relationship between journalists and PR professionals can be tricky. Hailed by a UAE publisher as nothing more than pizza delivery guys back in the early 1990s around the time of the Middle East Public Relations Association’s formation, we’ve always had our work cut out for us when it comes to developing relationships with media and making those friendly journalists happy.
I think we can all agree that we’ve got anecdotes of jaw-dropping unprofessionalism, likely from a number of industries in various markets across the world. Working with someone who is bad at their job is frustrating – but journalists make mistakes too and are often required to work within certain parameters set by others.
The job of a PR person is ultimately to keep everyone happy – our clients, journalists, social media audiences, our boss and colleagues, the list goes on and it can be exhausting.
But of course, I know the real solution to all of this: get off Facebook and go back to a wonderful afternoon of tapas in the Barcelona sunshine.