So, It Seems ‘Black PR’ Is a Thing


So yesterday I’m trolling my typical bajillion news sources looking for PR stories and one from the South China Morning Post catches my attention in the way that wandering onto a nude beach and seeing someone’s grandma would catch anyone’s attention. In other words, I wanted to grab a spork and attack my eyes.

Why? I love this profession and I demand much from it (and the people who make a living doing it). So, when I read the term “Black PR” in the headline, I cringed because the phrase does NOT refer to African-American organizations across this country.

No, this is “Bad PR” (which, MEMO to the complete dolts who came up with smear term: ‘Black’ does NOT equal ‘Bad’. I’ll call my brothers in Alpha Phi Alpha, Incorporated to give you a holler. Okay, thanks.)

Let me explain why:

Here’s the paragraph that started it all in this article from SCMP:

The mudslinging between two of China’s most prominent internet companies has brought into focus the rising phenomenon on the mainland of what has come to be known as “black PR” – online campaigns run by public relations companies maligning their clients’ rivals.

Man, and I thought they were ahead of us on everything. This is not two PR firms being paid to act like douches and misrepresent the industry on a whim—it’s been a practice for years! Some agencies have a wishbone where their backbone should be located. They ‘wish’ for money instead of standing up and counseling clients with strategy and strength.

That’s not ‘Black PR,’ people. That’s BAD PR! And it should stop. Apparently, these sinister flacks in Asia are growing like a Gremlin swimming in a pool of Jack Daniels (80s reference, kids. Move on). Unfortunately their terrible practices make the entire global industry look bad.

Ever seen someone get bullied?

Question: What did you do? Are you a stopper—someone who steps in to defend the kid with big ears? Or, are you a watcher—someone who stands in the crowd watching this poor kid get pummeled? In this industry, you should be a stopper. Or you could go get a job at Mickey D’s, because you are not doing the rest of any favors.

Bad PR is strangling kittens, kicking puppies, mooning unicorns and calling up your nudist grandmother to call her questionable names. We all look bad when that crap happens. Journos paint with wide brushes and some good people are getting smacked with primer because you were just watching the job go by.

Let’s stop Bad PR and I’ll write a letter to the SCMP about using misappropriated terms.