Ad man speaketh the truth on PR

by Sue Skeats, 17 September 2009

The value of PR is often underestimated or misunderstood, but there were great words of wisdom this week from Jeremy Bullmore. His consistently incisive, sage and witty ‘On the Couch...’ column in Campaign magazine is required reading.

When asked by an ad agency CEO whether he should hire a top-notch external PR consultancy for any “dealings with the press”, or replace “the internal girl who’s gone travelling”, Bullmore hits the bullseye and identifies that distancing yourself from your company or brand’s PR reveals a lack of leadership.

To this chief exec, he advises: “you should pay as much attention to your relationships with the media as you do to your clients.” He points out “you’re your company’s marketing director, brand planner and its most telling public face.” He continues: “If your internal PR girl puts out a press release stating the agency has resigned the £56 million Anglo-Galvanized account on a point of creative principal when at least 100 people in the ad village know you were fired for incompetence, any stock of goodwill you might have enjoyed will be permanently deleted.”

Okay, so that’s tongue in cheek, but it does illustrate that solid ongoing relationships with media (and for that matter key bloggers and Twitterati) are gold in terms of reputation management.

The agency or internal PR should direct and manage these, but they’re way more worthwhile when they also have the buy-in and involvement of the head honcho.

Bullmore concludes: “I’m all for delegation – but a leader who tries to sub-contract leadership is a bit of a contraction in terms”.

Which conveniently all comes back to The View’s ‘believability’ theory. Check it out on this very website at:

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