Francy Wade Archive
One of my colleagues likes to say that the euphoria one experiences during a highly successful PR launch, is like being a kid on Christmas morning. There are very few things that make us jump up and down with the same enthusiasm as, say, a child who gets a puppy from Santa. But for public relations professionals, a top-tier media hit that delights a client is one of those things. Launching a successful social media campaign is one of those things. Landing a speaking engagement at a key conference is one of those things. Yet as any elf knows, a whole lot of effort goes in to making the holidays bright. Our office equivalent is the strategic planning that goes in to creating success in the year ahead.
When Mitt Romney announced his pick for Vice President – on a Saturday morning in the middle of the Olympics – it seemed like curious timing. Who would try to compete with the ratings juggernaut that is the Summer Olympics? However, not long after the announcement was made, promotions started running for the first interview with the newly minted Romney/Ryan ticket in an exclusive with 60 Minutes.
The Romney Campaign clearly wanted to set the agenda for the Sunday op-ed pages and the Sunday morning talk shows. Even though “Meet the Press” was pre-empted by the Olympics, Eric Fehrnstrom, Romeny’s right hand man, was front and center on “Face the Nation” and Governor Tim Pawlenty defended the ticket on “This Week,” with George Stephanopoulos. The week that followed became all about the Republican challengers and a little about P90X.
As a former TV producer, I worked with great PR professionals who helped me find experts and interesting stories for my shows, often at a moment’s notice. I dealt with many PR people who had bad timing and bad story suggestions; they were doubly clueless.
Recently, I was with a group of friends — TV producers, anchors and reporters — when the topic of bad pitches came up. We laughed about the lazy ones, and others that were just plain bad, which I think @DearPR covers regularly.
Instead, I thought I’d focus on five things to do right. Here are tips from me and my TV friends.
1. Know my show.
The annual “Airing of Grievances” was made famous on Seinfeld, when the holiday Festivus was celebrated on December 23. The holiday requires those who observe it to reflect on the things that have disappointed them over the past year. But with the proliferation of social media, you don’t have to wait for an imaginary holiday to get your gripes off your chest. You can vent about your problems with airlines, restaurants, retailers or anyone, anytime, anywhere, in 140 characters. As consumers are increasingly empowered by social media, brands are faced with the new challenge of managing public complaints online. These constant complainers are the modern day equivalent of a tattletale. This is the person I want to label the “Tattle-Tweeter.”
I’m not one of those people totally obsessed with my Klout Score, but I know this seemingly innocent number is becoming increasingly important in fine-tuning your social media presence (see our recent interview with Klout founder Joe Fernandez). For that reason, I do occasionally check it and use any (rare) upticks to gloat to my equally nerdy friends and colleagues. So, when I recently returned from a relaxing family vacation to find that my score had dropped three precious points, there was no gloating, just an afternoon devoted exclusively to tweeting to get me back in the game.