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False Prophets, et al

I got a Blackberry Messenger text this morning from a friend. She had seen a Twitter post that said something to the effect, “If you need some marketing expertise, you should really talk to me.”

Hmmmm. If you’re tweeting to lure new clients by saying how great you are, how great are you?¬†And therein lies the problem. There are a lot of False Prophets¬†out there just waiting to share their marketing “expertise” with you.

Can you imagine another professional–say a neurologist, for example–sending out random tweets like “best brain surgeon–RIGHT HERE,” or “Brains are my business.” You get the idea.

But just about anyone can hang out a shingle and claim to be a “marketing” expert or a “public relations” expert. After 15 years of working inside advertising agencies and corporate environments, I’ve seen a lot of people who have exaggerated their skills or overpromised results. As my PR mentor once said (in a rather colorful fashion), “They p*ss in the well and ruin it for the rest of us.”

Indeed, Lei, they do. Before you hire someone, be sure to check them out thoroughly. If they promise you the sun, moon and the stars, you’re in the presence of a great salesperson. Keep that in mind and don’t agree to a long-term contract. Turn on your PI skills and check out their LinkedIn profile. Google them. Talk to their references. Find out if they’re accredited. You don’t want–nor do you have to be–the latest victim of a false prophet.

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  1. 02/09/2010 at 6:42 am

    Funny how Lei originated my favorite phrase as well. “I hate how some people think PR is so d*&% simple, that anyone can do it.”

    Good advice! I wish more people would do the due diligence to find out if their PR person actually has experience to bring results.

    • 02/09/2010 at 6:47 am

      I think we could write a book of Lei-isms. Sometimes she pops up in the subconcious wearing wings…and other times, horns.

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