The NY Times “Shifting Careers” blogger Marci Alboher has a post today about the popular topic of personal branding.  She calls out PR guru Peter Shankman:

In an era when public relations people have been getting a lot of flack from journalists, Mr. Shankman has found a way to get me (and probably other journalists) interested in what he has to say. He started a Facebook page called, “If I Can Help a Reporter Out, I Will,” that showcases his brand of being a terrific people finder. I’ve never met Mr. Shankman, but I know that he’s a publicist who knows a lot of people and that he has helped me find sources for stories.

I’m sure that some of those sources are his clients, which is fine with me. What’s unique about Mr. Shankman, from a journalist’s perspective, is that while I’ve known him for some time, he has never once pitched me a particular client or sent me a news release. Instead, he gets in touch to ask what I’m working on and whether he can help. That behavior makes him someone whose e-mails I don’t hesitate to open.

How often do you write a reporter just to touch base and offer resources? We’re thinking we can all be doing a lot more of this.

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