You’re Only as Good as Your Clip Book…

Full 3-Ring BinderTrue or False?

Over the past few weeks I’ve been discussing this statement with a bunch of people in the industry. From entry level to senior level. A lot of people in the PR industry have differing views about it. I’m not exactly positive of which way I lean, as I’m relatively new in PR…but I sure do have a hell of a clip book – not the point of the post, but had to throw that in there…

What is the perfect clip book? Bulk? Features? Mentions? A clip book is a great representation of a person’s skills (or luck in some cases) as a publicist. Someone I spoke with mentioned that a good balance and variety is really the best kind of clip book there is. It shows that someone can handle almost anything and be able to know how to pitch a feature, a commentary, placement, etc. Some people I spoke with even judge people entirely on their clip book. Obviously quality is way better than quantity, but is a clip book really that important?

There are two factors that keep me questioning the importance of a clip book. The first is that I feel if someone can sell themselves when in an interview, that’s huge. I mean, if you can’t sell yourself at “Hello,” then you need to take your Jerry Maguire behind right out the door and figure it out. Just because someone has an amazing clip book, doesn’t mean they are someone that is valuable. Who wants someone around that has no personality and can’t handle social situations?

Next, I think that something is way more important than a clip book. Relationships. Someone is definitely more valuable to a company if they can name people of the media that they have good relationships, whether it be a producer, editor, influencer, mommy blogger, etc. What’s the point of having an amazing clip book if you can’t ever use those contacts again? Obviously, learning how to develop a relationship is a post of its own, but if I was a recruiter, the first question I would ask would be, “Who are your media references?”

Obviously, PR is more than getting media placements, but are you only as good as your clip book? Is a clip book really the best representation of you? At the end of the day, its a great coffee table accessory, but I don’t think it should be the deal sealer for who you are. What do you think?

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