Rainy Day PR Resources
By Ben Silverman
Severe thunderstorms swept through the New York area on Tuesday
morning keeping me from my golf date and forcing me to sit idly
in front of a computer on what was supposed to be my off day. To
my surprise, I ended up having some real fun surfing the 'Net and
discovering new PR resources.
"From The Dark Side"
New York-based PR maven Loren Pomerantz is penning a monthly column
for MediaBistro.com called "From The Dark Side." It's
like a reverse PR Fuel - Pomerantz tells the media what the PR business
is really about.
"And here's another myth: PR professionals are all on a dishonest
mission to promote their own "angles" and to keep reporters
from the real stories. Well, yeah, of course we have angles. It's
our job to get our clients in the middle of stories. But you're
always looking for fresh takes, so why shouldn't we try to make
that take about our clients?
So, sure, we'll provide you with all the facts that we believe support
our stories, and, no, we're not going to promote the possible negative
angles. It's our job, after all, to try to get you to believe in
our story and sell it to your readers to promote the causes of our
clients," she continues," Pomerantz writes.
I can vouch for Pomerantz; she did the PR for a tech company I once
had a partnership with and her efforts resulted in press clips for
me from The New York Post (before I wrote for them), The Industry
Standard and The Wall St. Journal.
"It's Classmates.com For PR and Media People" That's how
Jeremy Pepper (who I wrote about a few months ago) describes the
recently launched MediaBuddies.com. Based in sunny London, England,
Media Buddies was founded by David Davis, a journalist turned PR
bigshot who is the CEO of PMA, described as "Europe's No 1
training company for journalists & PR executives."
"In the inter-related fast moving global world of the media,
where friendships and contacts are easily made and frequently just
as quickly lost, this question is often asked but too rarely answered.
That is, until now with the launch of MediaBuddies.com the world's
first exclusive media online reunion community," is how Davis
is flacking the site.
Full functionality won't launch until September, but if you become
a founding member now, you won't have to plunk down the 10 quid
annual fee for the first year. It's an intriguing concept - a reunion
community for a specific industry that can act as a networking community
Press Release: http://www.ereleases.com/pr/2003-07-15a.html
"PR Fuel leverages cross-media opportunity synergies, seamlessly
fusing them with recalcitrant outside-the-box, paradigm-shifting
brain blurbs to enhance reader acumen." That's what some marketing
genius would write if I asked them to describe this newsletter.
Thank goodness for the people at Deloitte Consulting.
The folks at Deloitte have come up with Bullfighter: a free software
that "works a lot like the spelling and grammar checker in
[Microsoft Word and PowerPoint], but focuses on jargon and readability."
Basically, Bullfighter cuts the bull of your documents. Believe
me, a lot of us need this. I learned how to spin jargon when I was
writing business plans for dot-coms. It's amazing to think some
non-sequential ramblings, a few graphs and some big (unattainable)
numbers could attract $12 million in funding, but I have the proof.
Those days are over though and the use of "bull" isn't
going to win you any friends. As I've mentioned a number of times:
Keep it simple.
You'll need Windows 2000 or Windows XP for Bullfighter to work.
Deloitte will send you a free CD version of the software if you
don't feel like downloading it. I've clued some PR people onto Bullfighter
this week and the response has been positive all around.
Media Kitty Says Meow
Media Kitty bills itself as "The Leading Source For Trippy
Journalism," so naturally I started thinking about Hunter S.
Thompson and the time I ate some bad sausage and started hallucinating
in the newsroom. "Trippy" comes from the fact that Media
Kitty is a service designed to hook up travel writers with PR professionals.
For $49 a month PR professionals get the following services:
- post unlimited consumer travel news releases
- post unlimited trip opportunities for qualified journalist to
apply quickly and easily online
- respond to journalists who post requests seeking to learn about
services and destinations
- list clients as experts for journalists
- access an online directory of top media and industry contacts
Is it worth the money? I don't know; the travel and tourism business
is not one I'm very familiar with. But there is a ProfNet type section
where journalists seek information and ideas. Might be worth checking
out if travel/tourism is your specialty.
Nobody Does It Better Than Google News Somehow, Google keeps getting
better. Google News is probably the best up-to-the-minute online
destination and thanks to a pumped-up advanced search, it's now
one of the best resources for quick research.
Not only can you search by publication, you can also search by location.
Trying to find out if someone in Denver wrote about your client?
Just use the advance search. Check out the search I did:
As always, be careful with Google News, you may end up addicted.
Are You Up2Speed?
It's a weblog! It's a series of newsletters! No, it's both. Recently
launched Up2Speed is all about Internet marketing and that includes
PR. You can find BL Ochman's excellent I-PR newsletter and commentary
from my old pal Robert Loch (Robert was a contributor to my now
mothballed DotcomScoop.com and penned some excellent analytical
pieces on everything from why Salon.com should die to why Osama
bin Laden exists).
A plethora of information and insight is to be had at Up2Speed,
and it's probably not a bad media outlet to put on your press lists.
Live From New York
I'll be attending the Jupiter Plug.IN Conference next Monday in
New York -- one of the few times I show my face at any type of industry
event. If any readers are going to be present, ping me so we can
Also, if you are in New York on Thursday August 7, please join me
at The New York Software Industry Association (NYSIA) Sales &
Marketing SIG titled "The Media & The Message - What's
Newsworthy in Technology Journalism Today." I will be one of
the speakers, along with Rebecca Lieb, Executive Editor, internet.com
and New York Times freelancer Lisa Napoli. Other journalists may
be added to the bill.
"If you are interested in making news about your company, finding
out how other companies make news or what trends the tech press
is interested in these days--you should attend this session! This
meeting will be informative for everyone involved in developing
and disseminating their company's message, from marketing management
to PR pros to CEOs. Hear from top NYC tech reporters and get the
scoop," is what NYSIA is saying about this event.
The event takes place from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM and is being held
next door to Madison Square Garden. $20 for non-NYSIA members and
free for NYSIA members.
OK, I don't have a clue what a "SIG" is and 8:00 AM is
when I get home a lot of mornings (don't ask). But it should be
fun. I'm a talented speaker -- which means I often say things I
shouldn't say. I'm also very good at awkwardly avoiding questions
I don't know the answer to, changing the subject and then personalizing
a point that I brought up myself with a funny anecdote. I'm preparing
for my future in politics.
I'll probably go off on some rant about how PR people wake me up
in the morning and the fact that I'm a business journalist, not
a tech writer. So come on down and join the party! There may be
coffee and Krispy Kremes, but I can't guarantee anything.
Ben Silverman is a business columnist for The New York Post and
the publisher of the soon-to-be-relaunched DotcomScoop.com. This
article is from PR Fuel, a free weekly newsletter on public relations
produced by eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com),
the leader in press release services for small businesses. Archived
articles can be found online at: http://www.ereleases.com/pr/prfuel.html
Copyright (c) 1998-2003 eReleases(TM) (MEK Enterprises LLC)
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