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« Blog Article | Main | Measuring Creativity »

May 11, 2004


Trevor Cook

I think a lot of IT journos were burnt by the hype in the 90s. At that time I had to harangue IT / ecommerce clients to stop them from putting out nonsense blue sky figures and projections. And yes - there were mostly no customers or you'd have to recycle the same handful of case studies. With the crash I lost most of my IT clients (most of them went broke or gave up doing media relations). More broadly, media relations for small clients has always been hard work and it gets harder all the time with more companies chasing the same few pages. Many end up disappointed. They really don't have the money to sustain a long term campaign. So its hit and miss and even when they hit, most of the time its not going to change their business fortunes. I've often told these people that they would literally be better off just ringing up the people they want to impress and asking them out for a coffee.In some cases, this even works. Though its not as satisfying for the client's ego as showing his clips to mum and the kids. I think there is a real opportunity with wikis and other technologies to supplement or replace media relations and go direct to stakeholders. It will take a lot of re-educating clients but medium term its the only way for most of them.

Mike Manuel

I certainly recognize your pain. In my opinion, I don't think media relations is as formulaic as it used to be (solution + customer = story). I think most journalists, jaded by the dot com hype, went back to basics the last few years in an effort to reestablish some degree of editorial balance. Plus, given the economic environment, that was what readers wanted. As a result, one of the most important PR takeaways from the dot com boom fell to the wayside – creativity. I think a healthy dose of creativity has been missing the last few years and it needs to be re-infused in all media relations efforts. And I’m not just talking about creative story angles and speaking topics, but creativity in the way we communicate with journalists – be it through tradition or non-traditional mediums.

In fact, on a related note, PRWeek just did a survey (May 3rd issue) on what clients want from their PR firms. Creativity was one of the top demands.

Frank O'Mahony

I'm a former tech PR guy, now doing Marketing, for exactly the reasons you mention. I got tired of pitching for few results and leaving endless voicemails that I didn't want to leave and the reporter didn't want to listen to. The beauty of blogs, direct marketing, etc. is that they reach past the media gatekeepers to your actual customers. Then you're on your own to make your best case. Who reads the trades anyway - I mean reads, not subscribes-for-free?


I agree with some of what was written - a lot of reporters were burnt in the dot-com craze, but that was mostly their own fault (hello, research please?!?) And, I think reporters are more jaded now than before.

But, I do believe people read magazines more than blogs. It's still the media, and about media.

I never thought of myself as a media relations person, but more of a generalist, but I have old bosses tell me that my ability to build relationships with media is scary, uncanny and amazing - that not only do I pitch the client, but build a good repartee.

You're being too hard on yourself. Hey, I've had reporters tell me to go f**k myself, and I just shrug the shoulders. I've been hung-up on, and I just shrug the shoulders. Just start on the next person, and get going from there.

Keep the chin up, little buckaroo!!

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