Three things PR employees need to stop doing

Sep 20, 2016
Three things PR employees need to stop doing

In my last series (Three things PR bosses should stop doing Part 1 and Part 2), I took aim at some of the behaviors of certain PR bosses that really put a bur in my saddle.

So, it’s only fair that I now point out some of the habits of PR employees that can really irritate the manager.

Here are three things that PR employees should stop doing.

1. Posting anything work-related on social media. It’s not worth it. It’s just not. If you get a client a hit or you want to share something your client is doing and it’s all positive, go for it. That’s fine.

But, other than that, there are few instances where posting something about your job is a good idea. We don’t need an, “Ugh!! It’s only 2:30?!!?” post on Facebook.

Yeah, we get it, everyone would love to be on paid vacation 52 weeks a year, but complaining – or even the perception that you are complaining – about your job publicly is never a good idea. And not for nothing, who wants to read such an awful status as they flip through their news feed? ‘Oh great, Kayleigh is complaining again today. Can’t wait for the update where she declares that she’s going through something awful, but doesn’t say what it is and we’re all supposed to ask and show sympathy.’

Don’t be that person on Facebook.

And absolutely positively never post something about your clients or even comments on their industries or cities or anything. Before you post something work-related on social media, take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. Label one column “upside,” and the other column “downside.” Now, make a list with both columns. The “upside” column is going to be woefully short. It shouldn’t even need to be said that you shouldn’t discuss clients on social media.

There is absolutely no upside to posting work-related comments. Unless it’s overwhelmingly glowing and positive, don’t do it.

2. Saying “like” way too much. This isn’t necessarily an issue with PR employees specifically, but it does apply to the younger generation and I’ve heard plenty of public relations employees do it, so I’m including it. And I cannot accurately convey just how much this infuriates me. Please, take a moment and think about how you speak. Think hard and ask yourself, ‘do I do that?’

In fairness, “like” is a popular word in the English language. It’s okay to use it…within reason.

When I hear people who use the word “like” 10 times in a given sentence, I go out of my mind. Personally, at that point, I’m not even listening to what they are saying anymore. I’m counting the amount of times they say “like” while they are speaking to me. The Larry David side of me wants to pause the conversation when they are finished speaking and tell them how many times they used the word “like” when they were talking just now. The non-jerk side of me doesn’t do it, however. But, it doesn’t mean I am any less irritated.

“So, I’m like, not sure if, like, we’re going to put the press release out, like, Monday? Or if like, we would just wait until later in like, the week.”

That’s a small sample and not an exaggeration. And I know you’ve heard it in PR offices and elsewhere. Please don’t be this person! Focus on your speech and sounding more confident as opposed to relying on this verbal crutch that does nothing to help you. When talking media, clients and higher ups in your company, you want to sound strong and professional, not as though you’re at a high school dance.

Please, like, stop.

3. Saying/thinking “This company would go under without me.” I hinted at this in another column, but I think it warrants it’s own talking point. I can’t tell you how many PR employees I’ve been around who think that the entire firm would go belly up without the crucial services that he or she provides. Obviously, this applies much more to smaller firms as I would hope there isn’t any one person at a major PR agency who thinks the company is completely dependent on him or her and him or her only.

Go to your company’s “About” section on its website. See how it says it was founded in 1999? You got here in 2012. So…it was around a long time without out you, which would indicate that you alone are not the difference between profitability and Chapter 11.

Maybe you are very important to your company. Maybe you are the top producer in garnering media attention for you clients. Maybe your colleagues rely heavily on you. But, I promise you, even if your absence was a tough hole to fill, the company would move on and find a way to survive.

What else? Help us add to this list!

A co-founder of Large Media, Inc., Micah Warren has been a public relations strategist for more than 15 years. A published writer with an incredible track record of media placements, Micah has gotten his clients in USA Today, Fox Business Network, Bloomberg TV,,, The Daily Caller, The NY Times, The NY Post, Esquire, Maxim magazine, ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” ,, GQ, BBC, Reuters and many other newspapers, television shows, radio networks, websites and trade publications.

Photo: Stop via Shutterstock

About the author

PR pro, Nellie Bly's dad, quasi sports guy

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