Category Archives: Joseph Vasquez

The Funny Thing About The Media

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The media never ceases to amaze me. In my 15 years in the PR business, I am still amazed at the impact news outlets have in influencing its audience. Moreover, it is still quite enlightening to see how the press decides what to cover in their news outlets. I don’t typically cite clients when I’m wearing my PRBC blogger hat on, but I’m making an exception with this one to share firsthand experience on what I’ve learned from rolling out a publicity campaign for a little bake shop in the Philadelphia area called Cupcakes GourmetContinue reading

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All I Really Need to Know in PR, I Learned From Santa

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! But only if the holiday rush hasn’t crushed you yet. If you’re (still) filled with the spirit of the season, please indulge me by reading this post with a fun, good-natured, Christmas-y attitude. ‘Tis the season to be jolly after all!

So the headline might be a bit of an exaggeration, but don’t fault me, we are all in PR. However, there are things that I do know in PR that I learned from the man in the red suit. So here’s my list of things PR-related that I learned from Santa: Continue reading

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Five Ways Pitch Letter Writing is Like the Golf Swing

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With the PGA Tour season coming to an exciting close this past weekend with more than $10 million on the line for eventual winner Bill Haas, it is timely to offer up insights on how pitch letter writing is like the golf swing.  I’ve been an avid golfer for most of my life and like many golfers believe that golf itself is a microcosm of everything we do in life. So here’s my take on how developing a pitch letter is similar to developing a sound golf swing (please note that I am a PR professional NOT a golf professional though it is still a dream to be one someday): Continue reading

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No Children Allowed: A Recipe for Publicity

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A few weeks ago, the owner of a little restaurant attached to a golf driving range in Pennsylvania, decided to introduce a new policy that it will no longer serve any person under the age of six.

As principal of a PR firm with restaurant clients, I followed this story right from the beginning. From what I observed, the story was initially reported by a local TV news outlet in Pittsburgh on July 8th. The Associated Press picked it up and reported it the following day. From there, the media frenzy took off.

If this were a legal blog, I’d pontificate about the obvious discrimination against children under six years old. From my understanding, children are not a protected class unlike senior citizens.  Unfortunately or fortunately (depending on your point of view), I do not hold a law degree so I can’t say whether there are legal implications to this restaurant’s policy.

Since this is the PR Breakfast Club, which serves everyone in PR (including the ones who at times act like children—you know who you are!), just let me say that from a PR standpoint, this new restaurant policy was a win. Here are my three reasons why: Continue reading

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A Search for a Quack: Why I Think Aflac Got It Right

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“AFLAC!” “AFLAC!” “A FLACK!”

We’ve all heard that quack from the TV ads which annoying comedian Gilbert Gottfried made famous.  As a PR pro, I cringe whenever I hear it because it sounds like the duck is calling me “A FLACK!”

Personally, I didn’t really care whose voice it was behind “AFLAC!,” but when Gilbert Gottfried inappropriately tweeted offensive jokes about the tragedy in Japan, it got me fired up. Coming from New Jersey and working in New York City for many years including on 9/11, the thought of joking about a tragedy of this magnitude was disturbing. And I think I have a pretty good sense of humor.

What the Aflac PR team did to turn a crisis into a brand win is quite extraordinary. Here are five reasons why:  Continue reading

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Be’Cause’ of You

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I don’t mean the hit song by Kelly Clarkson. I mean YOU—the PR pro, publicist, idea peddler, creative genius, whatever you want to call yourself. You’ve got clout and Klout. You are in a position to make a difference.

What I’m talking about here goes beyond securing hundreds of thousands of dollars in media placements for a client (although that would be the icing on the cake). It’s about making a difference in people’s lives by counseling your clients to roll out a cause-related PR campaign. If they haven’t tried it, I believe it’s time that they do.

I’m so psyched about penning this piece on cause-related PR because I’m a big believer in its merits. And I’ve seen it time and time again on how media outlets are much more open to covering your news if it’s tied-in with a reputable charity. The question is why haven’t you gotten buy in from your client. Continue reading

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We Live in the Age of Groupon

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Jackpot winnerSome of you know that one of my favorite pastimes is dining out. It’s obvious when you see the anti-Situation abs that I sport nowadays. [I’ve been doing a lot of GTL lately though minus the T so I’m expecting to get my washboard abs back.] Sorry, I digress. :)

In any case, one company that seems to be thriving in this awful economy is Groupon. I don’t have hard facts. My opinion is simply based on word of mouth, social media buzz and earned media coverage that I’ve seen for the company in the past couple of years. Most recent was Groupon’s first national launch with Gap where it likely garnered more in free publicity than the amount of Gap Groupons it sold. The company has transformed the way the average consumer saves by featuring mainly half price deals that change daily. The concept is attractive because it builds anticipation from its users on a daily basis, which I believe is a key factor, in developing any successful social media program. It has also changed the average consumer’s purchasing behavior, but it’s also fueled other companies to follow its business model such as Living SocialHalf Off Deals, and many others. Continue reading

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Kicking Off the Summer: What Barbecuing Can Teach Us About Pitch Letter Writing

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Thinkstock Single Image SetMemorial Day is a time to remember our fallen heroes. What is a solemn occasion has also marked the unofficial start of summer. Yay! This means many of you (majority in the New York City area) are still cleaning off that grill from this weekend’s festivities.

Since moving to Austin about a year ago from New York City, I learned that barbecuing isn’t simply throwing meat on a grill. My barbecue knowledge increased when I landed Rudy’s “Country Store” and Bar-B-Q as a client. They’ve even trademarked the tagline, Real Texas Bar-B-Q®.  What I found out from their Bar-B-Q Insiders is that grilling isn’t really barbecuing.

So here’s my attempt to tie in real Texas barbecuing with pitch letter writing:  Continue reading

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Q & A with Good Day Austin’s Lauren Petrowski

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It might come as a little bit of a surprise that my debut post for PRBC is a Q & A with an up and coming news reporter for the local Fox affiliate in Austin.  In my 13 years of working in PR, I’ve always been one to share knowledge with colleagues especially those who are new to the field.

Enter Good Day Austin reporter/anchor Lauren Petrowski who was kind enough to indulge me when I asked her to answer a few questions for PRBC. Lauren was very candid with her replies. Since most of us work with the media on a daily basis, I think it is important to actually get to know who some of these folks are.  I hope her answers would help some, if not many of us, who pitch the media. Continue reading

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