Public Relations Train Wreck

4 replies
I'm new to the forum, but I hope I hope this story will help some of you who are trying to get more media exposure.

I'm not sure how many Internet Marketers employ PR professionals to get results like the late Corey Rudl, whose articles appeared in many local, regional and national publications, but something happened in my offline business recently, which underscores the need for clients to LISTEN to the folks upon whose expertise they supposedly rely.

The client decided that it was OK for me to get the media interested in his project, but he wanted to personally handle any interviews that resulted. I protested. No good.

I did my job and arranged for an interview.

The day came for him to meet with the reporter, and in the middle of the interview, he told the reporter something about his past that could ruin his career. He then asked the reporter not to use that information.

I was not there with a fire hose. I should have been (remember, he insisted on handling this himself).

To make matters worse, just as the story was going to print, he and the friendly-up-to-now reporter got in an argument over some wording in the report. The reporter indicated that there would be a rewrite. There never was.

The story was spiked. Dead as a doornail. Friendly media opportunity blown.

Again the moral of the story is this: Should you hire a public relations specialist to position yourself as local or national expert in xxxx niche, remember to allow that professional to do his or her job.

You wouldn't go to the dentist and tell him/her that it's OK to drill on your teeth but you want to pack the filling, would you?

Hope this helps!
#public #relations #train #wreck
  • Profile picture of the author skydivedad
    Train Wreck seems to be an understatement on this one Adam. As a Western Michigander I hope his buffoonery stays put. Personally if he were my client I'd fire him or ask for double the fee!

    Making Lemonaide... Skydivedad's Blog

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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      He got off lucky with only the story getting spiked...

      Folks, nothing you say to a reporter is truly "off the record".

      If you don't believe me, google the story about Newt Gingrich's mother and Connie Chung.

      I've told this story before, but it applies here. Your words can live forever.

      I have a Google alert set for my name, and from time to time I get an alert pointing to a post I made on an email discussion list -- over ten years ago.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jillian Slack
      Also important to remember when talking to a reporter --

      There is no such thing as "off the record."

      If you don't want it in the story, don't mention it. Ever.

      And don't mention something, then try to back up and fix it. Doesn't work that way.

      Once you say it, you can't UNsay it.

      The reporter is not your friend, your buddy, etc. The reporter won't go back and take stuff out just because you don't want it mentioned.

      Another important thing to remember --

      NEVER, NEVER, NEVER ask to see the article before it goes to press.

      And NEVER, NEVER, NEVER try to edit the piece before it goes to press.

      The reporter's job is to gather the information and write the piece. That means he or she does it without you getting to edit it or change things around.

      Several times in my reporting career, people have told me they wanted to see the piece or edit the piece before going to press, and I refused (as any journalist worth their salt would do).

      You would never let that reporter come over and stick their nose in your business while you were making a deal. Same thing with the reporter letting you fix things.

      If you want complete control of the story, you need to go with paid advertising because that's the only way you get 100% control.

      Otherwise, anything that comes out of your mouth during the interview is fair game.

      If you're doing PR for someone and they're getting ready to do an interview, remind them:

      * There is no such thing as "off the record"
      * Don't bring anything up unless it's OK for it to be mentioned in the piece
      * Think before you open your mouth
      * Don't ask to see or edit the piece before it goes to print
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      • Profile picture of the author AdamsRib
        You all have hit it on the head with regard to what to do and not to do with media present.

        (Jillian, I could tell right away that you were a journalist even before I looked at your profile! A fellow member of MY former full-time profession!)

        One other quote: "Never argue with anyone who buys ink by the barrel."

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