To be fair, some of the press releases, especially in the old days, were brilliantly written and offered compelling information. Many years ago there were PR agencies representing companies who also offered gorgeous images of the hair and beauty related products (Goldwell, Redken, Aveda) or services being offered. Many even provided samples for review, although it seems like decades ago now.
As the years flew by, both the quality and quantity of press changed drastically. The original days of receiving beautifully presented press materials with appropriate samples along with images of new products or styling techniques all but disappeared. These methods were replaced with short bursty email blasts with blurry product images - if any were even contained - and limited info. Certainly no high res attachments or offers of appropriate interviews.
At first I was appalled that any PR agency would believe I could or would use such random information. I figured I was receiving these types of email blasts because I was one of those "on line" pubs. Then I compared notes with hair and beauty editors at "real" newstand publications. They were receiving exactly the same types of PR pitches and information I was. Hmmmm. Interesting.
It used to be with most of the PR packages I arrived in the old days, I had the option to interview a key person involved with the release. Now-a-days even if I ask nicely, it rarely happens. Which is also weird. Don't the people paying for the PR want to show off their celebrity VIPs?
Guess what? Out of hundreds of press emails releases that blast past me on a monthly basis I rarely read any unless the title on the email is so interesting I stop and look. Usually I'm disappointed and hit the delete key even after my interest has been triggered.
After I don't respond to several emails from PR firms, they usually take me off their email list, which is great (yeah less spam) but sad because if they had stopped to contact me personally, we might have been able to find a common ground to work together. However, I have had too many broken promises to pursue these type of relationships myself.
Recently as a result of my ongoing participation in Twitter I found a blog with the appropriate title - The PR Industry Needs To Get With It. Ahhhh. Someone else who totally understands why there is a crisis in the PR world. I was shaking my head so hard in agreement I started to get a headache (only kidding but hopefully you get my drift). This blog contains additional links from others in the know about PR problems that are worth reading if you are interested.
I remember a year ago when my current Marketing Guru joined HairBoutique.com. She stopped and stared at a pile of boxes sitting outside my office door that had never been opened. She asked me why. I replied "oh those are from PR spammers with totally inappropriate products who send them to me wanting me to review them when they have absolutely no connection to what HairBoutique.com is about or wants to write about".
"Oh", she said. "Do you want me to open then and go through them"? Nope. Throw them out. So she did.
Which demonstrates in a nutshell where corporate PR dollars in the hair and beauty world are ending up, at least with me and all of my longtime hair and beauty editor friends.
In this current PR economy would I ever pay a PR pro to handle press for me? Absolutely not. Been there, done that, hated the results after using three different firms in three different cities.
Which is why we always use our own in-house person who has long standing personal relationships with the publications we love to work with. We know what they like to receive and we bend over backwards to provide it.Hey, maybe the PR firms should be interviewing me to find out how we get high quality press without spamming, snail mail bombing, high pressure stalking, veiled bribes, indirect threats or outrageous bills for time-wasting gifting suites. If there's a will, there's always a way. Stranger things have happened.
Please follow us on Twitter at: https://Twitter.com/HairBoutique. I look forward to meeting new people from all walks of Twitter and learning from their Tweets.