Welcome to our monthly feature The PR Desk! Written by PR professional Heather Travis, it guides bloggers on the ins and outs of navigating the world of PR agencies and brands. This month, Heather explores the #PRFail and how to make it an opportunity to educate rather than shame.

From the PR Desk: Don't #PRFail - Educate | Food Bloggers of Canada

Who hasn’t made a mistake? Exactly. We all have. And guess what? We will again. That’s life. The trick of course, is only making the same mistake once, because hopefully you've learned from it.

Learning never stops, and each mistake we make is an opportunity to grow and evolve beyond it, to get bigger, to get better, and to strengthen our relationships with readers, brand partners and, yes, PR flaks like me.

We all know those poorly written emails addressed to ‘Dear Blogger’ or the ones that think you’d be great on this beef campaign, you vegetarian blogger you. We’ve all seen them. And yes, they're what's known as a #PRFail. Here's where I urge you to take another tack, however: don’t #PRFail, educate.

As a blogger and PR gal who sits on both sides of the fence I’ve seen my fair share of blogger fails too — but you won’t see PRs shaming bloggers in social media, and I’ve often wondered why that is (other than the threat of getting sacked of course!).

As a PR person I know very few people truly understand what it is we do. I also know this is the same for bloggers. You could say we’re both the ‘Chandler’ in our friends circle. Bloggers and PR folks have a lot in common. We do a lot with a little. We work with a variety of brands simultaneously. We have to balance our integrity with the demands of the client and product we’re promoting. We have multiple clients and projects on the go at any given moment. We also do a lot of work behind the scenes, work no one ever sees, but that has a great impact on what the world actually does see.

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So the next time you get a #PRFail in your inbox, turn it around and make it an opportunity to educate. Make this the start of your relationship, not the quick end. We really are more alike than we are different, so rather than lash out at the ignorance why not reach out with information? You never know when the tables might turn, and when they do you’ll be glad you came to the party with a smile rather than a scowl.

More Reading

PR Desk: What Story Do YOU Want to Tell?
PR Desk: Staying Consistent in Your Messaging
PR Desk: Five Things to Do Before You Pitch
PR Desk: Establishing a Relationship with PR Agencies
PR Desk: How To Find the Right PR Contact

Need Help With Your Branding?

Heather will be running a session at FBC2016 on Key Messaging For Bloggers – How To Get Your Message out to Readers, Brands and PR Agencies. Brittany Stager will be running a session on Visual Branding for You and Your Blog. You’ll learn everything you need to know about getting your personality and message out to the people you want to reach!


Heather Travis is a PR professional and lover of all things creative. She has extensive experience developing and implementing integrated public relations and marketing programs for agricultural brands, producers and processors, as well as high end sporting goods. She’s a DIY junkie with a mean power tool addiction, and can often be found painting, refinishing, and scouring both junk yards and antique markets for her next fix … err, piece of content for her blog heatherinheels.com. Find Heather on Twitter @heathertravis and Instagram @heathertravis.

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