In the past week, several instances have arisen that made me want to make in-your-face recommendations for my book about media and PR. I resisted, of course, but the reasons why I wrote it keep piling up and people working in media keep sending me more examples. I don’t even have to try to prove that it’s needed! The proof comes to me.
#1: On a Monday, a broadcast professional on a radio morning show receives a media release from a company that’s had some recent public relations nightmares. They would like to do an interview about an upcoming event that’s light and fun. Being Monday, the pro says he can do the interview any day that week before 10 am.
Oh sorry, says the PR person, our spokesperson’s not available until Friday at 11:30 am.
#2: I’m approached by a representative of an event that’s not well known, but fascinating. I extend an invitation to the person to join us on air and suggest several different timeslots from which to choose. “Can’t you come to the event after 10 in the morning and record me?”, is the response. I politely explain that our show is on from 6-9 am and that’s when the interview would need to happen. “Okay, I’ll try to see but I’m not sure.” I won’t bother to follow up. Imagine if that’s how we booked our guests. “Coming up, we may or may not talk to so-and-so who might or might not be available at some time in the future!”
#3: After being reminded that news organizations are competitors, the guest quotes something he saw from our top rival twice, as if it’s the only source that matters. Our people at CTV London have reported the same information. Asked politely later why they continue to name the competition the guest shrugged and responded, “I guess I forgot”. I smell a rat. They won’t be back.
We’re not asking anyone to like the parameters under which we work. We don’t like some of them either. But they’re our realities. And this is why I wrote Make the Media Want You. Thank you, bad examples, for proving that it’s necessary!