Tag Archives: reporters

Debunking the ‘PR Has Too Much Influence’ Myth

When the Columbia Journalism Review and ProPublica examined the growing value of public relations and its relationship with journalism, the scope of the piece, and the reaction it received from the journalism community were fairly predictable. A rousing chorus of “PR has too much influence” over [fill in the blank] seemed to fill the comments of both CJR.org and ProPublica’s website.

This notion was further advanced in July when New York Times Public Editor Arthur Brisbane explored the role of public relations professionals working with journalists in a blog post titled “PR Professionals: Bane or Boon?

The underlying sentiment in both seems to be that as journalism continues to shed thousands of its craftsmen, while public relations grows rapidly — both in stature and the number of practitioners — there is an overt level of influence being exerted by the latter over the former. And the world is just bad because of that. Continue reading

Coulson Resignation Isn’t Death Knell for Journalists-Turned-PR Pros

Talk waxes and wanes throughout the year in the PR industry about what makes a good public relations professional, who can rightly lay claim to being a part of the profession (Are digital PR gadflys who seem to do more for to boost their own personal brands than those of their clients really PR pros?) and what’s next for the profession.

One area that has taken up a significant portion of that discussion in recent years has been journalists coming over “to the dark side” (as they would put it) and working in PR. While Bad Pitch Blog and its ilk tend to take a dim view of reporters seeking to make an honest living by doing honest work in PR, the general consensus in the business seems to be that so long as they understand the basics and respect our work, journalists are welcome to our ranks.

But can this trend go too far? And if so, what might that look like? Continue reading

Clients and Phone Interviews – What’s Your Role?

Stained Sticky Notepaper Pad with Broken Pencil and Telephone HandsetCongratulations! You’ve scored a phone interview for your client with a big name reporter. Now comes the big question – do you join in?

I have worked for people that have stood on both sides of the issue as to whether or not you should be on the phone while a client does the interview. If the decision has been made that you will be listening in, do you tell the reporter you are on the other line? Do you chime in? Or, do you just pretend you aren’t there and take a back seat? And, what do the reporters think?

There are so many opinions that surround this topic; I thought I would poll the PRBC crew and a couple of reporters to get their thoughts. Continue reading

Is it Time to Introduce Analytics to E-mail Pitching?

Businessman with graphI don’t usually write about the more tactical, day-to-day issues of PR and marketing, choosing instead to focus on the delicate work-life balance, thinking like an entrepreneur and why I think it’s OK to not have a traditional PR background. But today, bear with me for a bit, as I’m going to get pretty tactical on something every PR and marketing professional uses probably every single day of their jobs: the e-mail pitch.

Ahh, yes, the infamous “pitch.” Loathed by many, MANY, but in today’s smart phone-obsessed world, about as important as ever in terms of driving successful media outreach for brands and organizations. I won’t get into the whole debate about whether e-mail pitches should or should not be used, but there were a couple of interesting points I wanted to hit from Cone’s main points in the article on about how we can all make our e-mail pitches a bit more refined and increase the rate that our e-mails to bloggers and reporters will A) get opened; and B) actually get us some type of response. Continue reading

It’s all about the “relationship”

Two businessmen shaking hands, close-upRaise your hand if you are sick of hearing “it’s all about the relationship.” When it comes to producers, reporters and bloggers, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that it all comes down to relationships. Yet, as many times as it’s been said, it seems no one talks about how to create those relationships.

Whether you are just starting out in PR, or you’ve switched focuses, media relationships can prove to be a tricky thing. How do you establish a relationship? How do you maintain the relationship? Furthermore, how do you prove you are an actual person rather than just a flack robot?

With such hefty questions to tackle, I thought I would poll our PRBC family to get their advice and perspectives on everything having to do with relationships. Continue reading

Yes, Virginia, Your E-Mail Pitches Do Still Make a Difference

Global MarketI’ve written before about my belief that the near constant bashing of media relations has to stop, and how yes, despite how much I love social media and how much I believe in the true good of what it is doing in the PR and marketing business, there still is a time, place and relevancy to traditional PR tactics, such as developing strong relationships. Today, I’m going to give kudos to another one those of traditional tactics that the “gurus” love to bash, but if done right, can still have a major impact in our business: the e-mail pitch. Continue reading

Not Mine. Not Yours. Ours.

Couple shaking hands with businessmanIt’s no secret that clients hire us for our contacts.  That our relationships are often the bait that gets them to sign on the dotted line.  But at the end of the contract, the course the agency’s relationship with the media has taken while representing said client has lasting benefits or consequences for both parties. Continue reading

Am I too emotional for PR

Ugh, remind me again why I check my blackberry at 10:00 o’clock at night? I know that I am running the risk of encountering a work e-mail, which likely will result in another restless night and a step closer to my bottle of sleeping pills.

But, I did it; I read the e-mail, a very nasty e-mail at that. A segment I pitched for a client went terribly wrong because, as you know, the media has creative license to produce whatever type of story it wants. Sometimes this works in our favor, sometimes it doesn’t.

The client was very unhappy, and boy, did I hear about it! I cried. That’s right, I cried a lot. I know as a publicist, you aren’t supposed to take things personally, but I do.

In fact, I guess you could say I’m an overly sensitive person.

Whether it’s screaming reporters, rude clients, shouting bosses or the general frustration of pitching, as a publicist you are expected to put on your brave face and just grin and bare it.

But at the end of the day, when I’m at home, behind closed doors, that tough façade breaks down. I am left confused, upset and wondering to myself: is a job in public relations right for me?

Granted, on the scale between one and ten (ten being a total emotional wuss), I place myself at a nine. I envy those publicists that aren’t bothered by the stress, the yelling, the segments gone awry.

Here today, I admit that I am affected by those things, and I think that there are others out there like me.

Crying isn’t a popular topic amongst the PR discussion circles. Why? Perhaps it’s because we are embarrassed, or it is the fact that we don’t want our employer (or future employer) to think any less of us. Maybe we are just afraid that others will assume we can’t handle our jobs.

I know it’s easy to tell someone “Hey, just shrug it off,” but that is just another case of easier said than done. I always thought that my emotions would be the downfall of my career, and it has definitely not been an easy battle to fight.

However, I think the fact that I care so much, maybe too much, means that I am a good publicist. If my client isn’t happy, I want to find out why and work towards a resolution.

I want to do the best job I can possibly do. If I accidentally send an e-mail to the wrong person, I get mad at myself and then vow to never make that mistake again. What I’m trying to do is be a better publicist than I was the day before.

This wasn’t meant as a “woe is me” post. My intent was to spark the conversation, to say, “Hey, it’s okay to cry and not be ashamed.” While you may feel humiliated and others see crying as a weakness; just know that you aren’t alone.

No matter how many tissue boxes I go through, I march on. At the end of the day, when I’m sitting behind my closed doors, my eyes filled with tears, I can’t think of another job that is as challenging, as exciting and ultimately as enlightening as public relations.

So, I want to hear your story. Are you an emotional publicist? Do you think that it helps or hinder your ability to do your job?