PR Fuel: PR News, Views, & Stews

Perception Versus Reality in Public Relations

May 15 2009

When many people think of Cleveland, the term “vacation destination” does not immediately come to mind. Cleveland is where I spent my recent vacation, however, and it’s where I thought a lot about public relations. It had been almost ten years since I’d been to Cleveland; all I remembered was a rundown city filled with half-empty factories and decaying housing. But what I saw on my trip was a city moving forward–and dealing with the very real public relations problem of perception versus reality. Read More

Media Training Can Turn Your Clients and Employees Into PR Experts

May 14 2009

Not every client or employee is equipped to deal with the media on an intimate level. When I was a journalist, public relations contacts would sometimes sit in on interviews I conducted with company executives. In most cases, the public relations department was there to lend support — as either a confidant, or a source of additional information. In other cases, however, it was clear that the executive needed his hand held because he could not handle on-the-fly questioning alone. But media training can help clients and company employees prepare for encounters from journalists and interviewers. Read More

Public Relations and Journalism: More Similar Than You Might Think

May 13 2009

There’s an old joke among journalists: “It’s okay. If I lose my job, I’ll just become a public relations flak.” Believe me, every journalist has thought about it more than once, especially when freelance writing wasn’t paying the bills. After all, what company or public relations firm wouldn’t want a former journalist on the payroll communicating to the media? This point was driven home when I recently attempted to email a journalist friend. To my surprise, I couldn’t track him down. And guess where he turned up. Read More

The Public Relations Balancing Act: Access Vs. Privacy

May 12 2009

For public relations professionals, preserving a client’s privacy can be difficult when you’re also trying to cater to the needs of your press contacts. Recently, my employer changed its guidelines regarding how much access clients will have to our products. Read More

PR Web Detective

May 11 2009

During the last week of 2006, when things were slow on Wall Street, I spent some time surfing around the web, playing public relations detective for my company. I was on the lookout for two things: 1.) people or companies infringing on our copyrighted material, and 2.) people writing things (good or bad) about my company. What I found should send public relations professionals to their search engine of choice immediately, just in case they think no one is writing about (or stealing from) their company or clients. Read More

Public Relations Basics: Tips for Your First TV Interview

May 11 2009

August is supposed to be a slow month for me, one where I catch up on long-term projects that I’ve managed to ignore for several turns of the calendar. This past August I was interviewed on television four times, a public relations coup. The four interviews — on Bloomberg TV, the BBC, CNBC and CNBC Europe — went off without a hitch. I was well-prepared, well-dressed and ready to tackle the subject at hand. Looking back on last week, here are some lessons that I tried to remember before my interviews, as well as ones that I discovered after the fact. Read More

Public Relations Basics: Preparing for a Media Interview

May 08 2009

Recently, I was transcribing a very casual media interview; it was an amiable chat, even when the questions got tough. Listening to the tape, I was struck by my constant “um’s” and “ah’s.” I came to the interview well-prepared, and I still sometimes sounded as if I didn’t know what I was talking about. There are many potential mistakes even a seasoned public relations consultant can make during the most relaxed media interview. Your responses can be too rapid. Read More

Beware of Public Relations “Swag”

May 08 2009

When it was released in 2005, the Dreamworks film “Just Like Heaven” got mixed reviews but did pretty well at the box office, debuting at No. 1 with a first week haul of more than $16.4 million. Dreamworks’ budget for the movie, however, was called into question; the public relations strategy behind the movie was the reason why. Read More

Public Relations Strategies: Positioning Yourself as an “Expert”

May 07 2009

Presenting yourself–or someone in your organization–as an expert can be a critical aspect of your public relations strategy. However, there are some fields where just about anyone can say they’re an “expert”–or worse, a “consultant.” The media, and even the general public, has become increasingly skeptical of such claims. However, there are ways to overcome this skepticism, add credibility to your claims of expertise, and pull off a public relations coup. Read More

Press Release Distribution for Maximum Media Pickup

May 06 2009

Bernetta writes:

I’m old and new in the business. That is, I was in the business for a long time and have been away from PR for more than seven years. I believe folks are emailing press releases today rather than snail-mailing them. Is that correct? And if I don’t have the budget to use your service, what is the best way to get my press release out?

Mickie responds:

The best way to distribute a press release is to take your newsworthy announcement and put it in the hands of the five or six key media who cover your industry. That isn’t easy for most people. Read More