PR Pros: 10 Signs Your Boss Is Out Of Touch

#10. “Did you fax out the press release?”

(Cue Grumpy Old Man voice) BACK IN MY DAY, people actually used to fax out press releases.  No, seriously.  In the year 2000!  Didn’t you ever wonder why Cision still includes fax numbers?


Fax Machine

#9. He or she still has a Blackberry.  And, correspondingly, also perhaps a belt clip.

“I couldn’t live without a physical keyboard!”

Bases.  Covered.

Bases. Covered.

#8. “Does this media list have the top 25 dailies?”

Uhm, are there even 25 total daily newspapers LEFT in this country?  There are.  But when the Honolulu Star-Advertiser has a higher average circulation than the Boston Globe, I wouldn’t sweat it too much.

#7. “Are we on MySpace?  We should do something on The Facebook.”

The only person on MySpace is Justin Timberlake.  Shh.  Shh.  Hush, now, social media illiterate.  There will be plenty of time for you to discover Facebook when your children go off to college and you humiliate them by commenting on their photos and status updates.

#6. “Make sure you run the ad equivalency numbers for the client.”

Ad equivalency values are B.S.  Have always been B.S. and will always be B.S.

#5. “Let’s do a press conference!”

NO!  NO!!!  Here’s when you hold a press conference: when you hire a new head coach or you sign a bill into law.  That’s about it.  You hold a press conference, and your client expects this:



…but is much more likely to get this…

...vs. Reality

…vs. Reality

#4. “Where are the folders for the press kit??”

No reporter, especially at a trade show or conference, wants 20 folders worth of press kits to lug around.  Put that stuff on a microsite or, if you must, a thumb drive.  Hard copies, like cassette tapes and landlines, are so 20th century.  Speaking of which…

#3.  “Did you do all of your call-downs?”

Gather ’round, all ye young PR pups born in the 1980s, and let me tell you of a time long past…when pitching required the strange, bygone tactic of picking up a telephone, dialing “9” to get an out-of-office line, and actually calling a reporter with the goal of selling your story to them, via your voice…and your words…via telephonic communication!  WHAT???  Yes!

#2. “I don’t tweet.”

Well…you probably should.  According to MediaBistro, almost 60% of journalists worldwide are.  Here’s a nice little article from Social Media Today to help you get started.

#1. “Did the client get their daily clips?”

Hey, PR kiddies, did you ever wonder why news articles that mention your client are called “clips”?  Because back in the day, part of a PR person’s job (OK, usually the interns) was to actually read dozens of newspapers each morning – real, physical newspapers that get ink all over your fingers and everything – and cut out (or “clip”) articles that mentioned their client, paste these clips onto a sheet of paper, photocopy all of these articles and fax them to the client.  It was called “doing clips”.  It SUCKED.  Google Alerts have made clips go the way of the Dodo.

** Editorial Note: clip books are so old-school, I can’t even find a picture of one online…

That’s my take.  I ask you, my PR pro friends, what are some of your signs that your boss or a fellow PR person is out of touch?

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