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How NOT To Use Twitter With Media (Or Anyone)

Gary Vaynerchuk presented a keynote speech titled “What Should Matter To Everyone In 2019” a few months ago which he turned into a podcast (link below). Gary has a number of good nuggets throughout his talk but a very fitting one for this story around 2:45 where he says –

“Social media isn’t changing us, social media is exposing who we really are.”

Social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram have been around long enough that we have seen them used to share positive and negative opinions and thoughts. They have been used to create relationships with strangers, and foster stronger ones people we already know. Some have also turned to social networks to destroy relationship or in the case of #45 attempt to belittle people.

What does a public relations professional do?

According to Wikipedia, “Public relations specialists establish and maintain relationships with an organisation’s target audience, the media, relevant trade media, and other opinion leaders.”

It really does not matter whether a public relations person is working with Consumer Media or Trade Media, the process and steps that you take are very similar. Part of what a public relations person does is pitch to media, and when pitch wrong or provide a bad pitch you will not not get covered.  Brands pay public relations agencies to deliver results, when a public relations agency does not deliver results the brand will part ways. You also end up losing talent, a lot of talent.

Wikipedia also states, “The public relations professional must know how to effectively address those concerns using the most powerful tool of the public relations trade, which is publicity.”

We have conducted many interviews with people working in the communications field through our coverage, stories and our original series How I Get It Done and #GirlBoss, Are We There Yet? These interactions have allowed us to learn more about the people within the industry, their accomplishments and how they progressed personally and professionally . Like any industry there are people who it is a pleasure to work with, and sometimes there are other people.

We are all human and prone to have good and bad moments. Unfortunately sometimes there are moments when we should not hit the send button as it can take you down the rabbit hole and you just can’t take it back when it’s in the internet. The good news is there are enough quotes out there to help keep up on track such as the following ones:

One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say. Bryant H. McGill

The true mark of professionalism is the ability to respect everyone else for their styles and always find something positive in every dining experience and highlight it in your thoughts and words. Johnny Iuzzini

If you want to be a great leader, remember to treat all people with respect at all times. For one, because you never know when you’ll need their help. And two, because it’s a sign you respect people, which all great leaders do. Simon Sinek

Treat everyone with respect and kindness. Period. No exceptions. Kiana Tom

Below is a Twitter exchange lead by Rick Murray, Managing Partner of NATIONAL Toronto and Cohn & Wolfe Canada that contradicts every definition we can find of what the role of a public relations person should be:


Brands want professionalism and transparency from agencies

There are some basics to pitching to media, when they are done wrong you can not reasonably expect results. When it is communicated to you numerous times directly and through your staff members that there is a problem with the way in which your agency is conducting itself and you choose to ignore it, you can not reasonably expect results. Bad or inappropriate behavour is never rewarded, just ask Elon Musk about the consequences. We have seen number of global holding companies lose clients and subsequently revenue due to bad practices, and we will see more shakeouts in the advertising, marketing and public relations industry in the coming months.

It is time for the public relations industry to move to the next level

We are at a point in time of change, the speed of change within the business landscape is at the fastest pace we have seen in history.  The opportunity for you to achieve and be ‘more’ is also at point that we have never seen before.  However that also means that “professionalism” needs to be different, needs to be more.  People want to work at good companies, ones with strong leaders who set the right example of leadership.  Brands are looking for “trusted advisors,” people who walk the talk during the ups and downs.  There is a huge opportunity for the public relations industry to command more marketing dollars, to be in the boardroom, but perhaps it is time that a Code of Conduct of Code of Professionalism be implemented as a minimum standard that people within the industry uphold themselves to, after all “the rising tide raises all boats.”

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