Thoughts on public relations (Part 2)

This post is the second in a series of thoughts on my recent experiences as a journalist “embedded” within a tech-centric public relations agency. You can find Part One here.

In that first installment, I talked a lot about how reporters and PR pros often find themselves at odds because they don’t really understand each other. This time around, I’d like to turn to how companies interact with external PR agencies and the media, and why they don’t always get the results they want.

Now … I don’t really expect companies to take my advice. There’s very little a PR agency can do to change corporate culture. A reporter might have a better chance, provided the barrage of negative press is big enough. But companies, especially large ones, tend to be set in their ways. Still, it’s worth pondering some of the things that, in theory, should be easy to change, but that I’ve encountered again and again. » More... »

Thoughts on public relations (Part 1)

So here we are again. Last time I tried to knock the dust off this blog, it was to announce that I’d parted ways with The Register and would be moving on to my next chapter, whatever that would be. And then … silence.

Mea culpa. What happened was things got busy again fairly quickly. I decided to accept a new position, one that was different from anything I’d done before. I took a job at a public relations firm.

It certainly was a change. I’ve never had a company issue a press release about hiring me before, and nobody has ever interviewed me about my new job – although I suppose neither should have surprised me, given the industry in question.

I ended up staying in the role for 12 months, almost to the day. Now I’m on my own again, and itching to get back into editorial writing. I do expect to continue to do some communications work, albeit in a consulting capacity. The most interesting part of the experience for me, though, was the inside look it gave me at the other side of the tech media circus, a side I’d never investigated before. » More... »