14 cringe-worthy things PR clients say

‘We need this to be viral.’ Sound familiar?


Editor’s note: This story first appeared on PR Daily in February.

It’s happened so many times you don’t even dare to count.

But no matter how many times you hear one of these phrases slip from a client’s lips, you still feel the urge to throw everything off your desk and break something.

OK, maybe it doesn’t go that far, but they can definitely make you throw your hands in the air. All in a day’s work as a PR pro, right? Here you go:

1. “Can I do the interview over email?”

2. “Can you find out what the reporter wants to ask before we commit to an interview?”

3. “I’ll be able to proof the article before it runs, right?”

4. “Why weren’t we in this story?”

5. “We want this news embargoed.” [When it’s not news]

6. “I reached out to the reporter directly.”

7. “This press release needs a lot of work.”

8. “We’ve decided to go in a different direction.”

9. “Yeah… sorry, I forgot about the interview.”

10. “I need this done in an hour.”

11. “We have an announcement that we want to go out tomorrow.”

12. “We need this to be viral.”

13. “We only want to give [insert top media outlet] an exclusive”

14. “Are you sure this is going to work?”

Got any you’d like to add?

Jennifer Nichols is co-founder and CEO of FlackList, where media can easily search, source, connect and maintain relationships with PR reps and experts within a social network setting.

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