I am a professional storyteller for GM's energy & environment communications team.
At a previous agency, I had to provide a report for every. single. journalist who I pitched who was on the media list for a given announcement. It didn't matter what they said. I just had to explain how my pitch efforts went. This made it feel like the numbers outweighed the success.
In other words, if I provided a report that said I pitched 45 reporters, I felt like I had done my job better than someone who only pitched ten. But you know what? Quality should trump quantity. But like @Word Ninja says below: Some companies judge success by the numbers, regardless of whether or not they are the right numbers.
Long story short: This practice will likely never go away.
4 days ago on PR Spam: The Haggler Takes the PR Industry to Task
I think it's also important to understand what your audience is talking about, at any given time.
For instance, I follow a lot of people who live and work in Metro Detroit. When Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander was mowing down the A's in the playoffs, seems like everyone was tweeting about him being awesome. (And he is.)
But a few outliers were still tweeting links to their blog posts on how to infiltrate niche markets, or something. It was one of those "Huh?" moments where I realized they were more interested in broadcasting their knowledge, than they were in becoming a part of the larger conversation. So I clicked the "Unfollow" button.
Maybe it was a severe reaction, but I want my community to at least pretend to understand what is important to us when it's happening. Continuing to push out link after link is a quick way to lose a follower.
4 days, 22 hours ago on Social Media: Six Ways to Evolve in 2014
Unfortunately, until every PR firm takes morals into account, there will always be firms that are willing to skirt the boundaries of ethics in order to make a buck. And isn't money what drives most PR firms? They will be happy to take our business.
I'm not saying it's right to not be moral. It isn't. But, you know, not everyone thinks that way.
Also: I loved the Meat Puppets back in the day.
1 week, 4 days ago on PR Firm Accused of Wikipedia Sockpuppetry
Hey, @jasonkonopinski. Congrats on the new gig!
2 weeks, 1 day ago on #FollowFriday: Our New Paid Media Manager
I read the entire post and all I could think was "What's a Kobo?"
Sort of kidding. This is great advice that can be used by both parents and executives. Personally, I know that i need to be more patient when it comes to explaining ideas to co-workers. Maybe I need to present the ideas to my daughters first. If they get, my colleagues surely will.
p.s. But seriously, what's a Kobo? A Canadian Kindle?
2 months ago on The Curse of Knowledge
Hooray for storytelling!
From a sustainability perspective, Walmart is the gold standard by which all other sustainability storytelling efforts are measured. (Their Green Room blog -- from the design to the content -- is really well done.) And they have an entire social presence tied to their "green" efforts. It's really well done.
Sustainability communications person, or not, you would do well to follow their lead.
2 months, 1 week ago on Great Companies Have Great Stories to Tell
Word up, @ginidietrich . I think we all need to be reminded of this. Recession or not, these are important tips.
When I began my current work three years ago, I sent a personalized introductory note to some of the key media in the space, letting them know what I would be doing, as well as how I could help them. I also said I would be targeting them, which sort of gave them the chance to tell me if they would rather not receive my pitches.
The emailing took me all of four hours.
It didn't lead to immediate coverage, but it helped position me as a resource for future inquiries, and I have worked together with them on a few stories.
(And sometimes they take pity on me and take an interview, even if they have no intention of writing. I'm okay with that.)
2 months, 1 week ago on Media Relations in the Digital Age
Where's Kenneth Cole? I think they are being offensive on purpose to garner positive and negative attention.
2 months, 1 week ago on Five Epic Twitter PR Fails
@AlbertMaruggi Make you wonder if it's worth it.
2 months, 1 week ago on The downsides of PR travel no one wants to talk about
@Danny Brown I can see that. And it makes sense. It does get really old after a long time on the road.
I think you need to clarify what you are traveling for. Yeah, working conferences can suck, but there is something to be said about getting away from the regular routine for a night or two.
I flew out to my client's office yesterday to prep for something, and it was not unlike a day in my office. The only difference was that I had a night to myself (I have kids and a wife at home.) While I very much miss them (FaceTime helps) it was nice to get in a workout and eat dinner on my schedule, without worrying about putting the kids to bed and preparing the house for the next day.
While there are definite drawbacks to business travel, there are also some perks, like what I mentioned above. Maybe that's what nobody wants to talk about. Or, they're just afraid to admit they enjoy that time alone.
The balance between work and life is one of life's great mysteries. Some days I leave the office early (because I commitment with the kids, for instance) and I tell myself I'm going to work from home in the evening. But then I find myself constantly thinking about the work I still have to do, and my attention is diverted from what is really important.
So this mythical balance is just that: a myth. In an industry where there is always work to be done, I'm not sure we can ever really turn it off.
I try really hard to leave my work at work, but when I'm especially busy, I have a really hard time not thinking about everything that I need to do.
While I enjoy my work, sometimes I wish I was a construction worker so that when I punched out at the end of the day, I really punched out.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Work/Life Balance: The Cost of Always Being On
Great post, Gini. This needs to be shared, oh, every three months.
For more than vs. over, I always think of how a plane flies over the ground, and that helps me remember to use "more than" in most cases. It's simple but, hey, it works.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Grammar Police: Twelve Mistakes Nearly Everyone Makes
Congratulations on the recognition, Chris.
Interesting that you're not on social media. What do you do with all of your free time?
3 months ago on #FollowFriday: Chris Mader
Thanks for writing this, Arik. I love to read how other people spend their day - especially those in the same profession. I always tell people considering this field not to consider it if they don't like writing, and it appears your writing percentage backs that up.
4 months ago on How I spend my days in PR
I hate when people make the PR process seem like the easiest job in the world; like we can just pick up the phone and call a reporter to write our story. And the fact that it's in Inc. Magazine makes it even worse.
Contrary to popular belief, we have specialized skills. (Or is it "skillz"?)
Thanks for writing this, @ginidietrich.
4 months ago on Media Relations: How to Do it On Your Own
@ginidietrich The fact that she had them made up for this (I assume?) leads me to believe her intention was to become part of the story. But maybe I'm just wrong and naive and jaded.
4 months, 1 week ago on There is No Such Thing as Off-the-Record
Exactly. The first thing I tell my subject matter experts when I do media training is that there is no such thing as off-the-record, so don't even bring that up.
In the case of Weiner (I never thought I'd type those words together in a sentence) everyone here is to blame, from the New York Daily News who gave the intern (and her glamour shots) space to run something that was sure to incite a reaction, to the communications person for calling the intern one of the most callous and offensive words in the history of the English language, to Anthony Weiner for just being himself.
At least us future communications students now have an excellent case study in how not to communicate.
@ericajmoss Just think of how much time they could save by managing instead of moaning about it. Very annoying.
4 months, 4 weeks ago on 400 unread emails in your inbox: Does that make you important or inept?
I don't think anyone purposely brags about their overflowing inbox, but it certainly comes off that way. If anything, it's a cry for help.
I don't know about you, but when my inbox is at capacity, it only adds to my stress level. The messages may be digital, but they feel like a physical weight bearing down on me. The most simple way to manage this is to set aside time every week (day?) to go through your email, even if it is after work hours.
It might feel like a part-time job, but it has to be done.
5 months ago on 400 unread emails in your inbox: Does that make you important or inept?