A PR Fuel Thanksgiving

This year, I am thankful for…

— Reporters that are grateful for assistance.

— Bosses who understand that it’s quality not quantity.

— Co-workers who appreciate my PR efforts.

— PR that directly leads to revenue generation.

— Press that shines a spotlight on people inside of my
company who deserve recognition.

— Journalists who understand that I have deadlines to
meet also.

— Publications that take the time to do fact-checking.

— Young people who want a career in PR, not because they
want to go to parties and meet celebrities, but because
they understand the importance of the craft.

— PR firms that adapt and embrace new technologies.

— Reporters who state, “Can you say that again please? I
want to make sure I get it right.”

— Editors at press release wire services who read the
release and then call saying, “Are you sure you want this
headline? I have an idea for a better one.”

— Producers who send a car stocked with coffee when you have
a 6:15 AM appearance.

— Co-workers who come up with PR ideas, even though it’s not
their job to do so.

— Reporters who keep in touch even though they’ve changed

— Anyone who thanks me for the work I do.

— Old PR hands who act as mentors, not slave-drivers.

— Editors who take my complaints about their reporters

Last, I am thankful for Brad Garlinghouse, a senior vice president at Yahoo!, who last month penned what’s being called “The Peanut Butter Manifesto.” In the internal memo, Garlinghouse takes his own company to task for, among other things, lacking focus, accountability, decisiveness and vision. The memo was written after a negative article about the company appeared in The New York Times, which Garlinghouse called “a blessing in the disguise of a painful public flogging.”

It takes guts to write this type of memo, especially at an organization as large as Yahoo! What’s more, it takes guts to lay it on the line and let people know that you are passionate about your job and your company. This is the type of “internal PR” that comes along once every blue moon, and when it happens, organizations should take the opportunity to examine how they do business.

Most important, the leaking of the memo – and it’s unclear who it leaked it – was a spectacular bit of public relations. The memo should serve as a wake-up call to critics of the company, be they in the media or on Wall Street. Yahoo! has been struggling in recent quarters as competitors such as Google take market share and outfits such as News Corp.’s MySpace redefine the online experience.

No single pitch to a journalist or protracted PR campaign could accomplish what the “The Peanut Butter Manifesto” has already done in just a few days – making people rethink how they view Yahoo!

This article, written by Ben Silverman, originally appeared in PR Fuel (, a free weekly newsletter from eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit:

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