We’re big fans of London journalist Hayley Campbell – she keeps us smiling with her views of the world. That’s why we asked for her views on the PR industry. Hayley may be giving most in the industry the one-finger salute, but thankfully we aren’t all the same.
Have at them, Campbell!
The only time we see anything exciting, or electric, or shocking, is when PR fails
Here is my opinion on your entire career that you have clearly devoted your life to. You didn’t ask for it, but I never asked to be added to your PR mailer either.
Jake Gyllenhaal said a thing in Nightcrawler once. It was a great line at a fairly crucial moment, and when he said it I had to press pause and write it down because it summed up my feelings towards what it is that you do every day to my inbox, and the inboxes of my friends and colleagues — the innocent inboxes that never asked for results on a poll about how many times old married people have sex in a month, or what it is, definitively, that women really want.
“You keep talking like it’s something I may be interested in,” said Jake Gyllenhall, “but I’m not.”
You keep talking. You keep inventing things to target an elite gaggle of idiots like me in global hubs who have little or no impact on the spending of the general public. Who is this helping? What is it for? You have fallen for the idea that trendsetters or leaders can be reached with lavish events, whereas what it actually does is merely service an existing ecosystem of privileged jerks, again, like me. And while we like the free stuff — while we will instagram your soulless parties, begrudgingly prostitute ourselves in the form of a hashtag for the sake of a branded cupcake, and maintain rictus grins while a teenager hired to tell us, in person, at our desks, about why this bottled iced coffee is better than other iced coffees just so we can get a free iced coffee — it’s essentially flimsy agreement, a marriage doomed to fail when we tell each other the truth: neither of us care. You don’t care, so we don’t care.
When an actor is outed a racist, when the musician gets caught trashing a drinks trolley on a flight and claiming to be God, when the drinks company accidentally ships 100,000 cans of poison instead of sugar water — this is the real human horrorshow that makes us feel briefly and temporarily alive. The only time we see anything exciting, or electric, or shocking, is when PR fails.
How can you fix it? I don’t know, and I’m pretty sure the fact I was asked to write this is riding on me knowing. Maybe put the imagination and thought you usually put into coming up with demographics like “incontinence deniers” (there is a secret war between people who pee their pants and the people who don’t believe them — I know because I got the press release) and put it into being less fake.
Make us care. We are now so numb to your advances we are practically dead.
This guest blog is probably supposed to come across as a brief window of truth, a lone sun beam poking through a bleak and terrifying sky. “We’re different,” is, I’m guessing, the point of this. “We know what we’re like, but we’re not like that.”
It’s a PR move on a PR company’s instruction.
PR is weird, isn’t it.
Who is it for?