Michelle Han February 13, 2015 | 03:25:19

6 Ways To Lose A PR Date

With Valentine’s Day upon us, we hope you’ve found just the right gift for your favorite PR agency person. But in case you’re still figuring out the quirks and preferences of the PR pro in your life, we have some advice.

On a date with a PR professional, avoid these six surefire ways to make him or her run in the opposite direction.

Tell her, “I never pay attention to the news.” The savvy PR professional lives and breathes media, so admitting to being news-averse would be like telling a die-hard football fan you don’t know what the Super Bowl is. (And bear in mind that the Super Bowl is really a brand showcase, so even a sports-ignorant PR person probably follows it.) If you’re not a major media consumer, you might want to keep that to yourself in front of your PR date!

Yawn at her musings about the future of magazines. An extension of the first one, this is sure to lose points with your date quickly. PR people (and plenty of other smart folks) enjoy a good debate about the future of media of all kinds, as the state of media impacts the direction of PR. Being able to engage heartily in such a conversation will win you extra points for sure.

Assume she’s just like Olivia Pope or Samantha Jones. You work in PR? That must mean drinking gargantuan glasses of wine and planning parties all day, right? Or otherwise scheming about ways to make those bodies disappear. Nothing is more laughable to a legit PR pro than comparisons to fictional Hollywood publicists. (The same probably goes for comparing any real life profession to its fictional TV counterpart, for that matter).

Think PR and advertising and marketing are all the same thing. This is simply a lapse in knowledge that would not impress your communications date. While marketing and advertising are industries that work side-by-side with public relations, and are often related, they are separate and distinct disciplines. For example, although the line between earned media and paid content is blurring, PR people still don’t create or place ads.

Tell her, “So you just write press releases all day, right?” The debate over the fate of press releases aside, assuming PR is equivalent to writing press releases would be a major faux pas! Impress your date instead by asking questions about pitching and winning new business, or what it’s like getting to know the ins and outs of different client companies.

Fail to offer an introduction to your sister who writes for Buzzfeed. Not that a PR person would ever try to leverage a personal relationship for publicity purposes (wink, wink). But if you do happen to be close with a media person of stature, that’s a bit of information your PR date will be very keen on knowing — and could work to your advantage.

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