Top blogger urges: Send your PR pitch via Facebook

January 31, 2008

I read Silicon Valley Watcher from time to time and I subscribe to it on my feeder. But had Tom Foremski not been my Facebook pal, I’d have missed his important message today — a message that tells PR folks how to get his attention.

I saw the post because Tom placed the link on his Facebook page. I visit FB 4-5 times daily; I check my feeder 4-5 times weekly.

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Now let’s be clear. I may be Tom’s friend on Facebook, but we’ve never met nor have we spoken. We exchanged a couple of terse emails shortly after I “friended” him, which came after he joined my Facebook group, “PRSA Need Professional PR Help — NOW!” Tom found that Facebook group because I promoted it in this post, which also links to Tom’s now-classic essay, “Die! Press Release! Die! Die! Die!” That’s how it works in the tangled web of social media. You get used to it.

Tom’s headline sucked me in: “PR Pitches Through Facebook: I Have 37, 366 Unread Emails in Gmail…” Read the rest of this entry »

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No need for media relations — not when you make the blacklist!

October 30, 2007

kent.jpgHere at Kent State, some of the journalism faculty urge student reporters to duck PR people at the slightest hint of trouble. PR people are obstacles on the pathway to truth, they say. And too often, I’m afraid they’re right.

As a profession, we’ve earned the brickbats of journalists based on decades and decades of bad pitches. The problem is so prevalent that Kevin Dugana PR professional — dedicates an entire blog to the topic.

Of course, not all PR people are media pitching flim-flam artists, and I’m certain none of my readers are — right? But armed with digital publicity distribution tools that’ll spam half the free world with click, it’s little wonder some media have slammed the door.

wired_logo.gifJust yesterday, Chris Anderson posted the emails of PR people and organizations now banned from pitching him at Wired — 328 in all, and some names you may recognize. Chris claims he gets 300 pitches daily, most of them impersonal spam from flacks hoping to get lucky.

Lazy flacks send press releases to the Editor in Chief of Wired because they can’t be bothered to find out who on my staff, if anyone, might actually be interested in what they’re pitching. Fact: I am an actual person, not a team assigned to read press releases and distribute them to the right editors and writers (that’s editor@wired.com).

boingboing-logo.gifMark Frauenfelder at BoingBoing is taking a similar path, but without the public outing.

For the past week or so, I’ve been blacklisting PR flacks from my email inbox. Anytime I get a press release that doesn’t interest me, I add the domain name of the PR agency to my killfile list.

So be forewarned, my brothers and sisters. The gatekeepers of the MSM and the blogosphere have put a bounty on the heads of publicity spam artists. Those who made the blacklist likely had it coming. Let’s hope they can find another line of work.


It’s the leadership, stupid — not the media relations!

January 24, 2007

If you were awake during the 1996 presidential election, you know where I got the headline for this post. I got the idea for it from PR’s favorite blogging vixen, Strumpette.

Yeah, I’m giving “Amanda” some ink this week, but she’s earned it.

In yesterday’s post, Strumpette takes to task Matt Szabo, press secretary to LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Seems that Szabo tried to set some last-minute ground rules for an interview betweeen LA Times columnist Steve Lopez and the city’s transportation director. Szabo thought he had a deal; Lopez didn’t. You can read the complete column, but here’s the gist of it: Read the rest of this entry »


The lowly press release tops PR headlines in 2006

December 21, 2006

die-press-release.jpgIf you’re not a regular reader of the PR blogs, there’s a good chance you missed the birth of the Social Media Release (SMR). I was too busy, and maybe too self-absorbed, to chime in when the news was breaking. But since we’ll all be talking about it next year, I figured we could use a primer. And yes, this will be on the test.

Talk of this new type of news release arose last February with Tom Foremski’s now infamous post, “Die, Press Release, Die Die, Die!” Tom (who used this artwork in his post) insisted that the old release format just doesn’t work in a wired world. He offered some suggestions for a new approach, and a few PR pioneers took it from there. Read the rest of this entry »


You can learn a lot from a throwback — really!

December 16, 2006

My students think I’m a throwback. In part it’s because of the offbeat contemporary references I bring to class. You see, blogpor.jpgI stay up on events thanks to a secret source my students seldom tap: the morning newspaper. It’s not a habit most 20somethings have acquired yet.

While the morning headlines fuel conversations, they also offer lessons in public relations. Just yesterday I read with highlighter in hand, marking passages I could use in class, and in this post. So here ya go. Read the rest of this entry »


For evidence of PR’s impact, just check the headlines

December 8, 2006

It’s the end of another semester in Kent, Ohio. There’s a blanket of fresh snow outside and a hot mug of coffee next to my laptop. Life if good.

If I did my job these past 15 weeks, students are a little wiser about the world of public relations — maybe even the world in general. Today I take the morning off to smell the roses, then begin the tedious process of grading final projects.

So, what’s the first thing I do with this respite from academe? I write this post outlining another “lesson” on public relations and how it affects our lives. I really need to get a life. But you know, PR does affect our lives, sometimes profoundly. Once in a while we should remind ourselves of that. Read the rest of this entry »


PR bashing from the media? Take your best shot!

November 28, 2006

It took a local news story about “image makers” to remind me again that the media don’t like us — or at least they act like they don’t like us. I didn’t need the reminder, but there it was on page one.

Fact is, I’m OK with news-media types taking potshots at public relations. I mean, they need to assert their independence just like everyone else. So I say to my partners in public relations: Stick out your chins and let your reporter friends take their best shots. Trust me. It won’t hurt a bit.

beacon.gifThat local story was Phil Trexler’s piece in last Sunday’s Akron Beacon Journal, flagship paper of the former Knight-Ridder chain. Trexler’s report doesn’t just cast aspersions on PR people, it questions the very need for us to exist — at least in the public sector, where taxpayers fund our salaries. The headline decries that “media handlers” often are paid more than teachers or police. Sheesh. Should I even try to point out the fallacies in that one? Nah. It’s too easy. Read the rest of this entry »