Seasons (almost) greetings, site surfers!

I can’t believe that A) it’s almost Christmas and B) nearly the end of my internship! Astonishingly enough my last day in office is the Eisen Christmas Extravaganza next Thursday. I cannot believe how fast this month has gone by! It seems like only yesterday I was posting my “Welcome” entry on this blog. Time flies. Although I’m sad to leave Eisen next week, I’ll have walked away with a new skills set and contacts, as well as friends and industry wisdom and insight I won’t forget.

In keeping up with my morning routine, I have topped my bowl of PR Breakfast Club with a helping of Ragan’s PR Daily.  PR Breakfast Club + Ragan’s PR Daily + LOTS of coffee = PR pro breakfast of champions.

While savoring my morning dose of PR Daily, the article “A Truly Remarkable .Com-Era Press Release” caught my eye. The Business Insider article, found at http://www.businessinsider.com/track-data-press-release-2010-12 dabbles in the press release debate. The 2000 release featured, sent from Track data corporation (Nasdaq NMS: TRAC TRAC – Text Reckoning And Compiling ), dealt with  Chairman and CEO Barry Hertz’s comments on why his company would not be sending out press releases until the following week, due to a lack of news. He apologized to his shareholders saying, “I am confident that the news releases made next week will be of significant value to our shareholders.”

Bottom line: this was a press release about why a company was not sending out press releases. Ironic, yes, but Barry Hertz had a point!

Reading more into the article, I began to realize what one of the biggest problems with PR is today: we’re sending out press releases just to be sending out press releases on non-new-worthy material. The result? Six out of 10 Americans don’t know where to find “goods news,” 83 percent believing the United States is suffering a “good news deficit.” Wow. Add that to PR Breakfast Club’s resolutions!

In the world of social media, endless “advertising noise” and instant access to news wires and email, are we becoming click and release happy before using our brains?! Inspired by the article, I resolve  that we use our best PR-pro judgment and  send out only newsworthy material!

In an era of all things “easy,” have we fallen into a rut to posting and sending out whatever we feel, just because it’s convenient, before stopping to consider, “Hey – is this really newsworthy?”

If I’ve learned anything at The Eisen Agency, it’s these words of wisdom from the rock star himself, Rodger Roeser. I asked him what the best piece of advice he could give me in dealing with reporters was. His response was something like this: only release, pitch and follow-up on things that are worth writing about, a.k.a. good news.

So what if you pitch a story about Bic’s new pen! Who cares?! What’s newsworthy and special about this new pen? What makes your product unique, or special? A.k.a.: Talk about something that’s worth talking about. THAT’S what’s going to stand out and get your cold calls and releases in the paper!

So what if you call a reporter who hangs up on you! If you’ve got something worth talking about, try again at a later date. You’re NEVER going to get 100% of the stories you pitch in the paper; it’s just not going to happen. Don’t get discouraged; let the phone call go. Smile and say, “Thanks anyway,” then hang up. They may not use your stories every time, but as long as you’re pitching something of substance, you can feel good about your efforts.

Build your reliability and caliber among reporters, so at least they know each time you call, it’s about something newsworthy a.k.a. good news. That’s power of well-practiced publicity, my friends! Bottom line: good news + good pitching = a well-written news story (and one happy reporter and PR pro) 🙂 The power of PR is undeniable.

The Big Cheese helped me think of it like this… So, this one guy walks into a bar and sees a girl he’s interested in. He approaches her and tries to convince her to date him. What happens? Depending upon the girls level of morality, chances are she laughs and says, “Fat chance.” That’s self advertising.

Let’s turn that analogy around. So, this guy walks into a bar and sees a girl he’s interested in. He keeps his distance. The girl’s friend happens to know the guy (and his impeccable reputation), nods over to him standing in the corner and says to her friend, “You know, I think you should date him. Here’s why…” That’s PR, my friends.
So which situation is more likely to end happily ever after? The good news is that I shouldn’t have to tell you by now 😉
Until next week…
Catherine
Word of the day: Newsworthy (sorry, no –tastic suffix)
Intern Insight: There’s power in a well thought out pitch.
But in the meantime, check out some good news at Eisen and Cult of the Blue Tongue:

http://cultofthebluetongue.blogspot.com/

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