Category Archives: Brian Reid

From Mail to Maker’s Mark: A Scale for Assessing Flack-Reporter Relationships

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The Coffee-Serving Security Guard © by Qole Pejorian

Every PR pro has been in the scenario: the team is gathered in a conference room. The topic of media comes up, and various names are bandied about. Then the boss growls, “who has a relationship with that reporter?” The implication is clear: in a business of connections, the person doing the pitching should have some sort of tie to the writer/editor/blogger in question.

Invariably, someone pipes up, claiming they have a relationship with the reporter in question. But the word “relationship” is fuzzy, Continue reading

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Want to Upset a Reporter? Call to ‘Follow Up’ on Your Email

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Phone Talkin © by Martin Cathrae

Journalists, as a group, have a lot of pet peeves: sources who want to go off the record for no good reason, overly literal editors, the Oxford comma. But the biggest complaint? Getting calls from flacks who want to make sure that their email arrived. We live in 2013: the email always arrives.

Jeffrey Young, an otherwise calm and thoughtful Huffington Post reporter, once wished death on PR pros who dare to waste his time following up on an email (“DIE IN A FIRE,” he tweeted). Continue reading

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Dunbar’s Number, Your Brain and Why Scaling Media Relations is a Bad Idea

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my brains - let me show you them © by Liz Henry

Public relations today faces a vexing problem: our brains aren’t big enough to keep up with the promise of the technology that we now have available to us. Now, I don’t mean to cast aspersions on my peers, the reality is that, regardless of industry, no one has a brain big enough to deal with the increasing power of tools that allow for great social interconnectedness.

According to Robin Dunbar, most of us can only maintain meaningful social connections with about 150 people: Dunbar’s Number. As detailed in a thoughtful Bloomberg BusinessWeek profile last month, the 150 number comes up again and again: it’s historically been the size of a military company, of an ideally sized factory, of the average Christmas-card list of a British family. Continue reading

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