Putrid PR campaigns stink. You may have hired the wrong publicist if you witness the following:
1. Your press release is not "newsworthy". If you are bored reading your own release, that is a really bad sign. Your release should have a hook and should be "new" information. Media typically does not want to report on "old" news.
2. You publicist has disappeared. This is also very bad. You need to have some form of contact weekly and know exactly what publications (or genre) are being contacted. Oh, and coverage is great too - be sure to put this on your website. Also, if something is not working ... you should be contacted immediately.
3. The media outlets being contacted have nothing to do with your product. If you have a make up product and you are being cc'd on emails to Sports Illustrated editors that's a big red flag.
Stay away from putrid PR campaigns.