All posts by Tracy Bagatelle-Black

Journalists’ Tips for Working with Flacks

Sometimes, probably on our worst days, being a publicist can feel like being a glorified telemarketer.  And, on those days, it seems that journalists feel the same way about us.  In fact, many of them have posted diatribes on their personal sites about us and how to properly pitch them.  In fact, I have seen whole sites devoted to just that topic.

However, there are many of us publicists out there that do the job right.  (Hopefully more of us than the bad ones, but I guess I’ll never know.)  The good ones make sure to create targeted lists of journalists and outlets that will care about our story, read/view/listen to  journalists’ work before pitching and create short, well-written pitches to hit the mark.  We are actually an asset to journalists, if only they would see beyond the words “public relations.”  To get the most of out of us, journalists could actually use a few tips of their own for dealing with PR people.  Continue reading

Dear Oprah (Part 10)

17th Annual Women In Entertainment Power 100 Breakfast - Arrivals

Dear Oprah,

Thanks for keeping my nannies tied up for an hour but I’m glad you’re going off the air too. Maybe now they’ll finally go get my son from his nap before the end of your program. As a work-from-home mom & PR pro, I have to rely on the nanny to get some work done and soon that will be possible. And do me a favor, kill off O magazine too. I’m sick of clients asking to get their stuff in it. You clearly pick favorites.


From the Left: I Think I Met 140 Characters (and was bitten by the tech bug)

Gregory D’Alesandre
Gregory D’Alesandre

For those of you that read my last piece, I attended Jeff Pulver’s 140 Character Conference in Los Angeles.  And while the action was flying on stage by day, it was sizzling by night.  In both cases, the tweets were non-stop. Apparently, all 140 characters are still geeks at heart.

The first night there was conference-sponsored “cocktail” party at the Kodak theater lobby and then an informal after-party at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel across the street.  The cocktail party surprised everyone by being a cash bar, literally as their credit card machine was broken.  They did furnish a few bits of cheese, crackers and a pile of hummus.  The somewhat sparsely attended event did give me an opportunity to meet a Google Wave celebrity, Dr. Wave aka Gregory D’Alesandre.   Continue reading

From the Left: 140 Tips on Social Media Marketing

A classroomTwo weeks ago was Jeff Pulver’s 140 Character Conference in Los Angeles and oh, what a whirlwind.  My head is still spinning from the two-day, somewhat star-studded event.  By day we all talked Twitter (while tweeting out all the conference’s big tips) and by night we all drank Twitter (while tweeting out all the conference’s gossip.) Continue reading

In-Depth Coverage: Hacks with Benefits

Businessman and woman smiling at each other in officeI am now single again, after more than a decade of marriage, and am realizing the benefits of being a single gal publicist in a tech PR world (the majority of these reporters being men). After all these of years of marital life, I had forgotten how much easier it is to pitch a story with a hint of flirtation in your voice. But do you let those flirtations go any further?

When I first began doing public relations, I was not at all comfortable on the phone pitching. Those were the days before email. We would fax out releases and were expected to follow-up every fax with a call. Continue reading

From the Left: God and the Devil: one night, two events

Alexia Tsotsis (LA Weekly) and Tony Adam (Yahoo!)
Alexia Tsotsis (LA Weekly) and Tony Adam (Yahoo!)

It was bound to happen one of these days: one night but two events that I wanted to attend. You know the old saying, “When it rains, it pours.” Well, lately it seems to be pouring networking events. In Los Angeles, this can spell disaster since distances between places can be huge. But luck was on my side and both events were in Santa Monica and only 5 blocks from each other. Continue reading

From the Left: Tats and Twitter–LA Twestival ‘09

I remember a time back in the ’90s when tech networking events were filled with geeks and nerds, and very few women. I was a member of the Venice Interactive Community (VIC) which had monthly meetings at an old Victorian house on Main Street in Santa Monica. As a single woman, those tech events were great as there was always a bevy of single, smart men. So, they were a little pale and many wore glasses but they could fix my computer at a moment’s notice.
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PR Time Warp: The Palace

How did social networking get to be known as “Web 2.0”? Somehow it makes the first generation of the Internet seem so unconnected and solitary. Coming from that generation, I can tell you that the Internet was not so solitary but we didn’t necessarily use the Web for our interactions with each other. America Online was its own stand alone service but was so successful because it was all about the chat rooms and interaction, there was IRC (Internet Relay Chat) and there was even a virtual world: The Palace.

Continue reading