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Edward Bernays would dig me. Seasoned public relations strategist (10+ years in the game) who has practiced PR in multiple cities: Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago & DC. I'm an observationist and a soon to be card carrying member of the Twitterati. I love comfortable silences, revel in the Seinfeldian absurdities of life and have been described as a habitual line stepper. These are my thoughts...

Monday, June 3, 2013

A PR Pro’s Pledge

Recently, I was partaking in the smorgasbord of industry content that PR Daily offers and I came across an entry that captured my attention – “Sign the PR Pro’s Pledge.”

The piece was straightforward and honest about what we as public relations professionals need to do in order to maintain our personal credibility as well as the credibility of our craft.

So after reading the case that was laid out by the author, I decided to make a public commitment and take the pledge. And as the author of the pledge urges, “If enough of us sign this, and share it with each other, and more importantly, share it with clients and bosses, we may have a real chance at success, whether that success is for our clients, or our own reputations.”

So united we must stand against bad PR and the people who champion it.

The PR Pro’s Pledge

I, L.A. Jones, being of sound and strategic PR mind, hereby swear before all my PR and journalism colleagues, to abide by the following rules for best practice public relations. Should I violate any of the rules contained herein, let me be shamed in a public forum of my peers, with nary a media call returned to me, so long as I shall practice PR:

1. I will not spam journalists by sending multiple journalists the same, generic release or pitch in the same email or in separate emails.

2. If I have to send a generic release or pitch because time is tight or there’s a gun to my head, I will at least hide all the addresses in the BCC line or send them separately with a personalized salutation.

3. I will not call a journalist on deadline to see if they got my email.

4. I will not try to pitch a journalist a story after the journalist has become a victim of an email blast where all other media outlets were visible in the email “to” line.

5. I will not turn off my cell phone after sending a release or pitch on a Friday about a weekend event.

6. I will not pitch a story about a client or boss receiving an award, unless my client or boss is an A-list celebrity, a high-ranking authority, or a truly remarkable individual.

7. I will not pitch a story that is not news to anyone but my client or boss.

8. I will not lie, stretch the truth, or even white wash information to make my client or boss appear better than they are.

9. I will not purposefully hide information from, or circumnavigate questions asked by the media.

10. I will not buy advertising with a media outlet in attempt to garner more coverage for my boss or client. I won’t even suggest it as a strategy.

11. I will not pitch a journalist that I am not positive covers the topic I am pitching.


           L.A. Jones