13 May How to avoid a rock star publicist
I got a press release today that led off with this –
START YOUR ENGINES
Rochelle HXXXXX accepts position to serve as ROCKSTAR team publicist!
ROCKSTAR has committed to partner with… SUPERBOAT team for the 09 season.
I think the press release was supposed to serve as notice for the sublead but this egotistical publicist managed to get the fact they hired her as the lead. Then she emailed it out to thousands of her closest friends…like me.
My point is not that this was a super stupid release – although it certainly was – my point is that Rochelle’s client really needs to know what she’s putting out there. The Internet means that press releases and company info live on forever. And that makes it even more important to review what your PR person is sending out, even if they’re the most experienced publicist on the planet. Nobody knows your brand like you do…and sometimes PR people are really duds in the communications department. (Sorry, it’s true – if we were rocket scientists we’d be working at NASA.)
Here are a few tips to avoid a case of the “rockstar publicist” –
- Review all formal communications carefully before they go anywhere. Then check them online to make sure YOUR version got sent out
- Ask to see a couple sample pitches. you don’t need to see everything they send (this would be annoying) but you want to see how your flack is representing you
- When you do get an interview, ask the writer or producer if they enjoyed working with your person – was the process smooth? did they follow up in a timely fashion? (I had the pleasure of working with Cheryl Tiegs on a radio campaign…she does this!)
- Your PR person should be the “people behind the people” – if you sense they need a lot of attention or are trying to get their name into your communications other than as media contact, steer clear
Finally, if it sounds dumb to you, it will sound dumb to others as well. Don’t let your publicist talk you into something because “they know PR”. Good communications are the same whatever you do and whomever you’re are talking to. Your PR should be smart, succinct and to the point. After all, it’s not rocket science.