Oh no, een France, you cannot do zis….
European PR, eh? It’s not like real PR. In fact, it’s generally done by those rubbish PRs that can’t handle the real world. The “I don’t talk to journalists brigade,” who always make sure their first call of the morning is “to the client.”
Splendid puppetmasters, too frightened of failure to do anything themselves. So they forward various emails, suggesting that other people do things. If it goes right, it’s great consultancy on their part. If it goes wrong, it’s a country-level problem that they will sort out by jumping of their white horse...and asking someone behind the scenes to sort out.
If they're so good at all things European, how come they hardly ever speak a second language?
European charlatans aside, the UK is surely the toughest PR market in the world. Granted, American PR involves fewer holidays, earlier starts and less alcohol. But it also has much larger budgets, which easily support the excessive monitoring, analysis and reporting demands. Contrast that to the UK. Ridiculous expectations, clients so far away from HQ that they don’t actually know what’s going on, and a crazy belief that the reporting, analysis and general fannying around will be achieved within an absurdly small retainer.
The most notable difference, of course, is that while there are a huge number of publications in the US, the journalists there listen and the general tone – at least for the B2B sector – is earnest. Product news releases get covered in the US trades. And they like tame Q&As with senior execs.
Not the stuff El Reg, Inquirer and the like are interested in. Not even the more sober (figuratively...or not) – and advertising conscious – Computings and Computer Weeklies of the world will go for that. Indeed, the reason we suffer such a turgid supply of crap from our US clients is because their media doesn’t generally demand end-user examples, business cases and proof points.
And as for mainland Europe…have you seen the crap they get away with? Full page profiles of the newly appointed marketing director. Quarter page articles on the opening of a new office. Ever tried getting an answer from an Italian PR person after 2pm? Ever had a French PR say, “yeah, no problem, we can pretty much translate that and knock it out the door.”
Ever even spoken to a Spanish PR?
Underpaid, over-worked and shit weather. It’s the best PR education you’ll ever get but...like private school...you’ll get fucked up the arse while you're learning.