Diary of a PR Amateur

I Hate Delays

August 2, 2010
Leave a Comment

I’m a little embarrassed to let you know, because I really built it up and I’m sure you have all been checking this blog on a daily basis, but the big announcement – on which my raise and promotion were riding – has been postponed indefinitely.

Apparently, (my company) has not exactly done what is necessary to make this particular customer feel loved. You know, sometimes I think that I’m the only person in this company who knows how to do his job.

I wonder how (my company) would do if we sent out a satisfaction survey to our customers.

In any case, we are officially delayed, which means I have to figure out a different way to prove that I am promote-able.

I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve, and I think it all starts with taking some of the pressure off my boss. Of course, this will involve having to work a little harder than usual, but I think it’s worth the short-term effort for the sake of the long-term.

By the way, it has come to my attention that there is a Facebook Fan Page devoted to me, which is not entirely surprising, given the quality of the information I generally provide here. You should check it out.


A Hero-Making Announcement

July 28, 2010
1 Comment

Well, it had been a while since we actually had something to announce, but tomorrow, we will finally put out a press release.

And considering the ho-hum nature of the last announcement, tomorrow’s will be much better. Here’s the headline:


Agreement Puts (MY COMPANY) In Industry Driver’s Seat

Now, you may be thinking, “Wow, this is a great announcement.” But what you don’t know is that I found out what the value of the deal was, and plugged it into the release. The original read as follows:


By the end of the day tomorrow, I'm going to be a hero around here.

I did a little snooping around, as any great PR person should, and found out that the deal was worth $10 million. So I threw it in the headline – since we all know that the big media are always looking for numbers to back up the story. And I figure I will be the “fall guy,” whom our CEO and sales director can both blame if the customer is angry that we publicized the numbers. Meanwhile, we’ll still get an avalanche of coverage.

So tomorrow is the big day … the day my company’s name is going to get the big headlines in the world’s major business and technology media. And at the end of the day, even though our customer may be angry, I’m going to be the hero.

In fact, they may even promote me.

Cruise Control

June 21, 2010
Leave a Comment

One of the things I love about being the client – remember, I worked for an agency for a bit as well, so I know both sides – is that there are times when you can shift into cruise control and let your agency do the heavy lifting for you.

After the lunch meeting John and I had, I believe we came to a nice understanding, and he and his team – I must admit – have produced some nice results in the last week, including an interview with BusinessWeek and a nice piece about our technology on one of the New York Times blogs.

And it’s exactly during times like this that I love my job, because I’m able to just sit back, play some Bloons, and let the agency make me look good.

As it happens, I received an email this morning from John. It read as follows:

Joe –

We are achieving nice traction in the market, especially given the nice recent NYT blog coverage. But we need to put out some announcements to keep the momentum going.

Is there anyone at (my company) who we can speak with to mine a bit for potential announcements? We’d like to get a nice bank of press releases going so we can send one out every so often.

Please advise.


I don’t understand what he’s stressing out about. I mean, we’re getting things done these days. Why do we need to distract ourselves by focusing on writing and approving announcements?

I think I’ll let this one ride. On the one hand, if I respond to him that his request isn’t necessary, he’s going to probably push me to speak with some guys here. On the other hand, if I respond that his request makes sense, I’m going to have to be the one to do the legwork to connect his team with the subject-matter experts here.

But if I ignore it for now, I get to keep on chilling out for a while.

I know, it’s a no-brainer. I love cruise control.

Putting Out Fires

May 3, 2010
Leave a Comment

I was put into this role for various reasons, and I’m happy to list them for you:

1. I’m an excellent writer
2. I’m not afraid to say what is on my mind
3. I’m creative
4. I’m a strategic thinker
5. I’m not a “yes-man,” but I can be, if necessary
6. I’m tall and not fat
7. I’m handsome
8. My name is easy to remember, which helps me develop relationships with reporters
9. I know how to take technology and make it understandable for the average person
10. My salary demands were not too high

But there is one reason that trumps them all, and it’s the one I’m most proud to discuss. I put out fires.

That’s right. I’m the fireman. You got a communications crisis? You come to me.

So when that announcement went out about our new head of corporate development, and it was clear that the media were going to attack the company for possibly expanding “in new directions,” I was ready.

Of course, I didn’t write the release the way I did for the purpose of making myself look good. In actuality, I had wanted to make the new guy look bad. But as luck would have it, I was able to put out the fire and make myself look good to management as a result. Not a bad bonus, huh?

So, how did I do it?

Simple. I called each reporter, one-by-one, and told them that the language in the release, written without thinking it through, was misleading, and that the company is not going in new directions. In fact, I told them, “you can even say that this new guy isn’t going to change things at all for us.”

Well, the articles didn’t come out yet, but one things is for sure: This fire has been put out … by the fireman.

Of Blitzes and Misdirection Plays

March 23, 2010

Well, we sent out a record four releases in less than a week. And I don’t want to pat myself on the back or anything, but the reactions from the media with whom I spoke yesterday were amazing. One example:

Joe: I sent you a release today about (product)

Reporter: Joe, you just called me an hour ago about a different release, and you called me last Friday about another one. And none of them are really that interesting. But yes, I did see the release about (product).

Joe: Great. As you can see, we are a company on the move. Lots going on here.

Reporter: I don’t understand you guys. You go like four months without announcing anything, and then three releases in four days. What’s your deal?

Joe: Just you wait. We’ve got another one going out at 5 p.m.!

Reporter: Uh-huh. Well, Joe, gotta go. Bye.

You see! It’s working! They all know who we are now! Our brand awareness has increased dramatically among the press this week and it’s all because of my strategy.

Now, my follow-up idea is to go another few months before sending out another announcement. It’ll be great. They’re going to wonder, “What happened to (my company)? They were making so much noise back in March.”

And then, just as they think we are out of the game again, I’m going to blitz them again in late June. It’ll be amazing.

I’ll tell you, at first I wasn’t so happy when my company decided not to hire a PR firm. But now, since I’ve gotten more involved … I love it.

By the way, you are welcome to try this strategy, too, and you don’t even have to give me credit.


March 21, 2010
Leave a Comment

I haven’t been posting as much over the last week, largely because I have been so busy doing the job of three people, which, I assure you, I’m more than capable of doing.

As you know, I got rid of my agency, and management decided we don’t need to hire a new one and that it’s all up to me. Obviously, they made that kind of a decision because they know how good I am at this.

So at the end of last week, I came up with another one of my incredible ideas:

We are going to blitz the market with news releases.

My company has three amazing announcements that we can make. One is about a partnership with one of the world’s biggest tech companies. Another is a new product that is forever going to change our industry. The third is a major new customer.

Now, conventional wisdom in PR is to space out these announcements over several weeks or even a month, but as you know, I like to go against the grain. That’s why I’ve decided to release all three press releases on consecutive days.

The market isn’t going to know what hit it. And in the end, after those three days are over, my company is going to be sitting at the top of the heap in our industry.

Stay tuned …

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and become MUCH smarter about PR.

    Join 26 other followers