I do some PR consulting on the side. I’ve mentioned that before, I think. I have some really fun clients, and sometimes in the course of my work I’ll write a release from my client’s perspective, and need to include some quotes from a third party, who have a shared interest in what I’m doing. So, for example, if I’m promoting an event, I may include quotes from a supplier who is benefiting from the event. But the release is about the event. Not about the supplier.
I write the quotes for people. I’m happy for them to change them. But I want our releases to be true to our key messages and achieve our communication goals, and this is the best way to do quality control. But I won’t ever put out something that quotes somebody if they haven’t approved the quotes. That’s pretty much standard practice in PR.
Anyway. What I’m not doing, when I send that release to you, however politely I may frame the invitation to contribute to the release, is asking you to send me a completely different release that you have written from the perspective of your company, even if you think it greatly improves on the original.
I remember once being involved in project managing a rebranding of our organisation, where we sent the new logo concept out for input from our sponsors and stakeholders, and one guy took it upon himself not just to make suggestions, but to redraw his own alternative version of the logo. As if we didn’t need to be paying a professional to do the job and think about things like scalability and the ability to produce the logo in embroidered form on t-shirts, and, well, the ability to look like a company who didn’t just pull a hand drawn version of some clipart into its visual identity.
I guess my message is this. You are not a professional. Unless you are. And if a professional gives you some work, provide feedback, but don’t assume that you can just do their job. If everybody could just do their job, there would be no need for that job to exist.
That is all.