06 June 2006

Ooh look, what’s that? It’s my navel…

Flicking through the pages of PR Week (probably the UK’s leading weekly PR publication) always reminds me what a ridiculously tiny industry this is, especially when narrowed even further into a specialism such as technology.

Invariably there are always half a dozen people in there that I know. I don’t just mean ‘know of’, I mean proper ‘met, worked for, shared a drink/meal/bed with, immediately email to tell them I’ve sent heir ugly mug in PR Week’ know.

It’s more like a local paper in that respect (the Bromley Guardian rather than the Yorkshire Post, mind). People can relate to the story about the fire in the local chippy because they’ve been there and bought a saveloy…in the same way that we can relate to Adrian Wheeler launching a new consultancy because we’ve seen him doing his Richard E. Grant turn at endless PR conferences. We scour the pages looking for people we know and agencies we’ve been, ridiculing the ‘My Best Hires’ and looking all casual in the Appointments pages.

On the front of PR Week it says £3.20. Why is that? I’ve never met anyone who’s actually paid for one…just those that swoop on the numerous copies that drop onto plush doormats across the West End every week, quickly ripping through the flimsy sellophane to disguise the fact that it wasn’t actually addressed to them.

It’s a funny little rag…like a dirty secret. I shouldn’t like it, but I do. On the tube I always keep my copy hidden inside the latest ‘Animal Rimmer’, just to save my embarrassment.


Will Arnold said...

You're spot on that B2B magazines are like local newspapers in the way they help create a community, with personalities, issues and gossip that is usually irrelevant and incomprehensible to anyone outside.
The main difference is that the best ones give you something that helps you do your job better.
Won't the next PR Week ABC tell us how many people pay for it after the switch to paid-for?
(Plush carpets?)

Peter Jacob @ Text 100 said...

There has always been a love/hate relationship with PRWeek - particularly for those of us in the tech sector. The tech page is a nice start (if nothing else to ensure that those smaller names get covered). I fondly remember selling in a Cisco UK win story to be greeted with a total blank. "Are they big? What do they do? Why should we write about this?" Is there really a market for a 100% dedicated PR-style magazine? Has anyone seen a copy of PR Business yet? Marketing & Marketing Week give the industry scant reognition unless you're Coca Cola or Nike. Does anyone remember agencyworld.co.uk?

PS Nice to see a new agency blog on the go

Anonymous said...

PR Business makes PR Week look like a world-class publication. I know a lot of people rave about it, but the editorial decisions have so far proved bizarre.

From a news angle, it appears that it'll print just about anything it gets. Where are the intrepid reporters digging out the stories?

Features are better - but still variable. A couple of weeks ago it ran a feature on RSS readers without mentioning any of the market leaders - yet it managed to plug the RSS reader developed by the author of the article.

And where's the website? Looking at www.prbusiness.co.uk, it's going live in April 2006.

Everyone in the business seems to want a decent rival to PR Week so PR Business had a great opportunity. It could have tapped into the social media whirlwind that is currently engulfing everyone in PR and combined print editions with a decent website and a few blogs to encourage a community atmosphere.

Instead we're left with a lame title that looks to me like it's only a few weeks away from dying.