Tra la, tra la. Spring is here! And with it, daffodils and baseball and Easter Eggs and our semiannual shaming of public-relations incompetence!
PR is not the most complicated enterprise, requiring only the ingenuity and labor to find overlaps of interest between clients and the media. The best way to do that is by scrupulously considering the needs, interests, desires, audiences and proclivities of the particular medium before attempting to offer story fodder to them. This builds ongoing relationships, reduces suspicion and engenders trust.
The other way is just willy-nilly: the indiscriminate blast. Which is like fishing with dynamite, minus the subtlety.
From: Kristen at ChicExecs
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 12:14 PM
To: Bob Garfield
Subject: Can I book this with you?
Warmer weather is on the way and women everywhere are thinking about this year’s swimsuits—and
this year’s fitness routine. But how do you keep fitness fun and interesting while guaranteeing that bikini bod?
Introducing a brand new workout that’s easy, exciting and can burn 880 calories per hour…
Yes, email lists are inexpensive, so there is a certain efficiency to sending a pitch to every carbon-based organism in the universe, knowing that one of them may be on the swimsuit-body beat and so desperate to fill space that they get past the insipid first sentence of such an email -- if you don’t mind the risk of alienating, say, someone who writes only about media and marketing and who will tell anybody who will listen that Kristen at ChicExecs is a nuisance.
Plus, she didn’t even have the courtesy to inquire about my weekend. So, you know, she missed the personal touch. Unlike Nicki at Veteran PR.
From: Nicki Veteran PR
Sent: Monday, March 16, 2015 12:11 PM
To: Bob Garfield
Subject: Kacelia Media Tour
I hope you had a great weekend! I am working on setting up a media tour in various cities and states for Dr. Evelyn Haworth and her husband Kelly Haworth, health and wellness experts and inventors of the Tru-Align Body System. Are you interested in setting up an interview with them?
Hi, Nicki. 1) My weekend was lovely, thank you. Took my daughter and her friends to the theater for her birthday. 2) No. Or with any of your other clients. Ever.
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Now, maybe I’m being harsh. Maybe that’s my fault for being so flighty and unpredictable, having been writing on media and marketing for only the last 33 years. Why wouldn’t I jump on the blockbuster Bellport Convenience store story or some of the other exciting opportunities to find their way into my inbox? Which is why, Adrian of Believe Advertising & P.R., I’m going to not only jump on the pitch you sent me, I’m going to print your entire letter! Because my readers do have an interest in brand-building functions of public relations, and you are an example for us all.