Peter Shankman Tells It Like It Is – Pitch On Target!!!
I sometimes find myself telling clients that this job is harder than it was ten years ago, which it is (and in some ways, its easier).
One of the reasons why it’s harder though is because technology has made it easier for people to get into the media relations game. A computer, email connection and BOOM, you’re a press release SPAM machine. Is that good PR? No, but it’s what a lot of people do. Smile, email and dial until you get the hit. The press release diarrhea that’s over taken the industry is why smart, targeted stories have a harder time breaking through the clutter.
Peter Shankman has similar views as my own. He has his Help A Reporter Out (HARO) project that’s an alternative to Prof-Net, which I recently unsubscribed from. One of the big differences between Prof-Net and HARO is regulation…. if you pitch off target with Prof-Net, no one (except the poor reporter) seems to care. With HARO, well, Peter shanks you in front of the 20,000+ people on his list. Here’s a recent example from his 9/16 HARO email:
Hey listen – I hate to bring this up again, but it would see that
<<PR FIRM>>, specifically <<name removed>> and <<name removed>>,
continue to SPAM HARO reporters. Now, I know for a fact that I’ve
kicked them off the list, but for whatever reason, these people
don’t get it. Here’s the problem: They continue to spam on behalf
of their client, <<NAME>> – I’ve talked to <<CLIENT>>, and he’s
told them to stop, yet <<FIRM>> public relations continues to SPAM
reporters. So, if you get an unsolicited email from them, know
that they’re not welcome on HARO, ever. I’d never, ever work with
them, nor would I ever recommend them. I personally have added
@<<FIRM NAME>> to my killfile, and you all might want to consider
doing the same. It’s sad – some people just continue to do the wrong
thing, despite being told repeatedly why it’s wrong.
PR/media relations is more than just blasting out press releases or mailing kits with tchotchkes for people. It’s smart, strategic thinking that breaks through the clutter, not an endless supply of SMPT relays or an heavily staffed mail room.