Diary of a PR Amateur

I Hate Delays

August 2, 2010
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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
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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:

(MY COMPANY) SIGNS $10 MILLION DEAL WITH (NAME OF CUSTOMER)

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:

(MY COMPANY) SIGNS MAJOR DEAL WITH (NAME OF CUSTOMER)

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
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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.

John

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.


Sitting Pretty

April 6, 2010
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You have all noticed, no doubt, that I have not posted here for a while. Of course, those of you who pay attention to this blog know that I have established a strategy of sending out a bunch of announcements in rapid-fire succession, and then laying low for up to two months at a time. Well, I’m happy to report that it is working.

The media don’t quite know what to do with themselves, after I sent out four releases in five days. Then, over the last two weeks – silence. In fact, I won’t even return reporters’ phone calls. Absolutely silence.

Then, in a couple more weeks, I anticipate having the ability to announce a few more things, and then, whammo, we’ll blitz the media again!

But for now, I’m just sitting pretty, not contacting the media, not returning their calls and not sending out announcements.

And in a few weeks, when I contact them again – on my terms – they are going to be begging me to write about my company.


Press Release Ideas

January 31, 2010
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My agency recently asked me for “a pipeline of PRs.”  This is something I don’t really understand.  We are paying them so much money to do our PR for us.  Why should I have to give them a list of things going on in the company that will give them ideas for press releases?  Shouldn’t they come up with the ideas themselves?  Isn’t that why I pay them so much?

Well, guess what?  They don’t think so.  They think it’s my job to find out from my company what is happening.  But I’ve already explained to you that I’m not so good when it comes to actually getting things done, and that I’m much better at looking busy.  I’d really prefer to lay low and not give my management team a reason to look into how good I am at getting results.

But I have an idea.  Since most announcements wind up not actually materializing anyway, I’m just going to make up the press release topics, have the agency write up the releases and then explain that getting approvals is just taking a long time.

I’ll post the topics later, just so you see how clever I can be.


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