A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post for Ohio University’s student-run PR firm, ImPRessions. My story was about shattering my iPhone 5’s screen, and the PR lessons I took away from the accident. Overall, it took me about an hour to write, and I thoroughly enjoyed crafting each and every sentence. (The blog post is published below.)
After my article had been posted to the ImPRessions blog, I got so much positive feedback from my fellow PR students and PR professionals alike. I had no idea people would like my writing so much; it was one of the most flattering experiences of my life. A few days later, the ImPRessions Communications Director, Ashleigh Mavros, asked me if she could submit the iPhone article to the one and only, PR Daily. I was ecstatic.
The rest happened in such a rush. Within a week I had heard back from PR Daily that they had decided to run my article on their website and promote it via their daily subscription email. Amazingly, I heard this news just one day after my 20th birthday, so the timing could not have been more perfect! The article ran on October 30, and seeing my name and work published on PR Daily was one of the best moments of my entire life, seriously.
Over the next 24 hours, the reaction I received was shocking – both shockingly wonderful, and shockingly insulting. Under my article there is a section for comments from readers. Within 20 minutes, I was told that I “have little to no experience,” “lowered the bar for PR Daily,” and was referred to as “Doogie Howser,” the teenage physician.
It goes without saying, but I was deeply hurt by such mean-spirited feedback. I was proud of my post, so excited that a website as reputable as PR Daily had deemed it worthy of publication. However, I had received so much negative criticism that I began to regret the original submission.
But, you know what? That is completely idiotic. Why on earth should I allow completely anonymous users to rain on my personal, PR parade? I loved my article. PR Daily did, too. I guess what I’ve taken away from the experience is that no matter what you do, no matter what you say and no matter how you act, it’s impossible to make everybody happy.
My most favorite quote in the whole world comes from Dita Von Tesse: “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the word, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”
Dita got it so right. Also – on a side note – peaches are awesome, so those haters are totally missing out.
From this whole PR Daily incident, I have completely changed my mindset when it comes to pleasing people. Essentially, it cannot be holistically done. There’s always going to be somebody who doesn’t agree with you, who thinks you’re not qualified to have an opinion. WHO CARES? If you’re happy with the work you do, and you have a solid foundation of outside support to back you up, then you’re good to go.
When it comes to PR, the situation is exactly the same. You’re not going to be able to please everybody. You’re not going to command the entire consumer market. However, as long as you have a base of loyal, happy customers, your business will thrive. And a thriving business – and a published blog post – is something to be proud of.
So, haters gonna hate, but don’t let the negativity get you down. Just keep on keeping on, and always, always walk with your head up and eyes to the future.