Is PR inherently not social?

Tyler HurstValley PR Blog12 Comments

There’s no one way to talk to customers online. Whether a company representative is solving problems, promoting their product or service or just talking with normal people doing normal things, it’s hard to say they’re doing anything wrong.

But I don’t think tweets like this do the sender or the subject any good:

Full of what some might call hyperbole, I call it a blatant exaggeration of what the scene in downtown Phoenix really is. While Jason Rose is fantastic at crisis PR and as such a master of misdirection, I don’t see a statement like this working here. It violates what I consider a few social rules and here’s what I think can be done to promote what we like and/or clients without just making stuff up.

1. Make sure what you’re referring to exists before you try to remake it
Unless you’re referring to Durrant’s many years ago, downtown Phoenix hasn’t had a power dining scene in a long, long time. I could also claim that Gangplank has remade the local tech scene in Chandler, but they’re more inventing than remaking anything. Statements like above wouldn’t be made in normal conversation, so they feel out of place in a social media setting.

2. It’s advertising, not marketing
Statements may work well in the world of traditional PR, but conversations online don’t work like that. Advertising interrupts us, but doesn’t add much to any sort of conversation. Engage the people, don’t just shout at them.

3. Bring your reasoning
Anyone can make a claim on Twitter, and without context, links or further reasoning, we have no way to refute or agree with said claim. Why would make a Sam Fox concept restaurant be better suited for “power dining” downtown than a La Grande O’range* or Postinos?

4. Is Sam Fox a client?
Any good PR person would never hesitate to promote a client, but is there some sort of disclosure necessary here? Like reporters, PR professionals’ statements are often looked at with a magnifying glass, because they usually have greater access to companies and information than the general public. I’d like to assume Rose or anyone else in a similar situation would disclose a client relationship, but are we supposed to assume that no disclosure means no association?

If you look at the rest of Rose’s tweets, this one definitely feels misplaced. As one of the most powerful PR guys here in AZ, it’s important that he and people like him adhere to some sort of standard so the rest of us are able to separate fact from opinion and compliments from promotion.

Do you struggle with this? What’s your personal disclosure policy? Is it necessary to have one?

Tyler HurstIs PR inherently not social?

12 Comments on “Is PR inherently not social?”

  1. Len Gutman


    I think, unfortunately, that Jason represents the downside of PR. Someone with a strong PR background would never make a statement like this about a client. Rose is a political consultant claiming he is a PR expert, when in fact he has no background in PR…at least not that I can find (try searching for his bio on his website).

    In political consulting the truth is secondary to he who screams the loudest. Hyperbole is the name of the game. Real PR pros follow a code that aligns to the old code of journalists — just the facts.

  2. Stacy Bayless

    Oh, the politics of the “good old boys” marketing efforts for downtown Phoenix. Rose isn’t the only one handling PR for the larger players downtown that claims to be a PR expert and simply has no experience as such. Will downtown ever look outside their copper square mindedness for some fresh smart thinking…

  3. Rachel V.

    Good points on putting conscious thought behind tweets! A tweet like that is a dead end. Show me (don’t tell me) why I should eat there-menu, reviews, pictures etc and I’ll not only dine there but I’ll spread the word. On the flip side, there are definitely some local Phoenix restaurants that can make me salivate in 140 characters or less.

  4. Jackie Wright

    I just have to laugh at this post today. Especially seeing as how Mr. Rose found it necessary to call me out on a Tweet I made last week that was more personal opinion, than anything. Wondering if we can ship all the bad apples to the island of misfit PR people?

  5. Trudy Dudy

    He’s Jason Rose. He can write what ever he wants and he still drives a Maserati. Life isn’t fair. Oh, and Tyler, how’s that job search going by the way?

  6. Kathy Sacks

    My rule of thumb: When sharing information about clients online, stick to the facts. Don’t rely on hype or exaggeration.

  7. Tony Felice

    Every PR or social media statement, whether in a tweet or in a pitch should sound newsworthy and objective. Heck, you can even be funny or ironic. But, words like “revolutionary, one-of-a-kind, cutting-edge, and leading,” are all hyperbole that only damages a clients image. Everyone that calls themselves a “PR” person should intern for at least one year at a newspaper or a television/radio station to learn how stories are told. I’ve seen news released come from the biggest agencies in town that read like an advertorial and I’m sure recycle bins everywhere are littered with them. Frankly I’m tired of our (meaning us as a community here at VPRB) being often drowned out by amateur noise.

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