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But shouldn’t it be the other way around, you say?  Not necessarily.  Bulldog Reporter’s Sally Falkow recently spoke with marketing guru Seth Godin, who said:

The main challenge for PR is that the Internet has made the model of pitching the media redundant. The best PR people are those who are counsellors to their clients, not publicity hounds. The way to win now is to represent the new media to your clients, not the other way round.

It’s true that when you really know a certain publication/writer that you can speak to your client with confidence about what will work best for both parties.  In essence, you are pitching the media outlet to your client.  Try that on for size!


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Not only are Kevin Dugan and Richard Laermer at the Bad Pitch Blog good at identifying the worst in PR pitches, they of course are also excellent media relations pros themeselves.  Recently the blog polled readers to come up with “Ten Things You Should Never Say to the Media.” 

The story then made it into Ken Wheaton’s column on AdAge, where Ken make’s an excellent point:

And while it seems like something ripe for snide comments, the list is full of practical, helpful advice. Better yet, it offers good value.

Ah, those key words: offers good value.  Instead of just tearing apart bad pitches, which is very popular these days, Kevin and Richard offer up valuable advice on how PR pros can do a better job, something much needed in the current conversation. 

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It’s common knowledge, or it should be, that attaching the world Google to anything you pitch gives you a much better chance of getting a reporter’s eyes/ears.  Well, if you’re working for Google itself, things can be a lot easier. Valleywag’s Nicholas Carlson reports:

Credit the Google PR machine with this much; They know how to stir up media froth without serving up any real products. Android and the OpenSocial initiative showed that much. Of course, the process is often as simple as leaking “scoops” to the Wall Street Journal. Today, for example, the Journal reports that Google is working on an Internet storage service that will work like just another hard drive. This would be a scoop, of course, if the software, codenamed “Platypus,” hadn’t been out for a year already. The paper cites “people familiar with the matter,” but you can safely describe them as product managers eager to test the market without accountability.

To the defense of the WSJ reporters, no mainstream outlets had written about “Platypus,” just the blog listed by Valleywag.  Also, the story is lighting up Techmeme right now, so the reporters are laughing all the way to the page-view bank.

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Are you working today or just discreetly shopping for gifts in your cube?  Here’s a look at some of the “Cyber Monday” press releases we’ve seen on the wires:

Walmart.com Extends Cyber Monday Into ‘Cyber Week’ With Five Days of Online-Only Specials at www.walmart.com

Retailers Think Big for Cyber Monday with One-Day Sales as More Americans Shop from Work

The Magic of Macy’s: Cyber Monday Exclusive Web-Busters

And, our personal favorite:

The Mouse Makes House Calls: Vacationers That Purchase a Walt Disney World Vacation to Receive a Call From Mickey Mouse on Christmas Day

How much of this is just hype? According to the San Diego Union Tribune, Cyber Monday isn’t even among the top 10 busiest web traffic days.  What Cyber Monday stories are you pitching today? Let us know: prnewser at mediabistro.com

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.

Stand Up While You Pitch

November 20, 2007

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Sometimes we stand up while we’re on the phone or doing something in our cube. Maybe some folks in the office think we’re crazy, but it’s good for our health, and now we can prove it. Lifehacker reports:

A recent study at the University of Missouri-Columbia reaffirms that a sedentary life increases your risk of diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity, but the study suggests that even if you get in the recommended 30 minutes of activity 5 days a week, sitting for the remaining 15 and a half hours of the day is still trouble. The solution? According to the article, just standing up more frequently throughout the day to type or do chores can do wonders for your health and double your metabolic rate.

We think this will be especially valuable after Thanksgiving weekend. Get that metabolism going!

Weighing in on the debate of whether it was right or wrong for Wired Editor-in-Chief Chris Anderson to publish the “banned” email addresses of some several hundred pr folk who have spammed his inbox, the Guardian‘s Mark Borkowski gives his take:

The web is a powerful tool but one which is being abused by the PR industry. This has resulted in a distancing in media relations between the PR and journalist. In a world where texts and emails abound, there is little time for connection or building back up those relationships. It’s partly the fault of the media and partly the fault of PRs, but I fear this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Mark is right about how there are bigger issues afoot that cause things like the Wired incident to happen. This ties back to Anderson’s original post, where he stated, “Fact: I am an actual person…”  Next time you send out a pitch, remember there is a person on the other end, not just an email address.