Wednesday, July 23, 2008
An amazing service, developed by uber-PR-guy, author, entrepreneur, skydiver, runner and George Michael-fan Peter Shankman, HARO (Help-A-Reporter-Out) has recently achieved more than 15,000 users (fans) this past month. For a combination PR professional/journalist, which I am, this service couldn't be more beneficial. It helps journalists locate sources (even when on deadline) and PR folk (professionals or just small business owners) can leverage HARO to gain buzz-building power for themselves or their clients. The catch? There isn't one! The service is free and somehow, amid a flurry of grueling marathons, skydives, interviews, cat-parenting and of course, work, Shankman is able to email queries three times a day. Check it out--or better yet--'Help A Reporter Out!' http://www.helpareporter.com/
Monday, July 14, 2008
As a journalist AND PR person, it can be challenging to determine on which side of the fence to sit when it is obvious that subscriptions and ratings are what drives news, rather than when news drives news. Case in point--this past week. I was privy to the fact that a major, national conference was being held in Boston. Yet, the top news of the day (literally, the lead stories)--instead of even a one minute or less snippet about the conference--was about an individual who scooped the 'face of Jesus' out of a bucket of ice cream and a dog that rides on the back of a motorcycle! Now, I'm just as engaged by celebrity news and gossip as the next person, so the current Madonna-Alex 'A-Rod' Rodrigues tidbits and Brangelina twinderful reports keep me riveted as it does most others. Yet, when a worthy, local, newsworthy event gets absolutely no play from the media and lame, tabloid and absolutely worthless pieces gain lead story status...it definitely makes me wonder. Can public relations be effective in an era where goofball tips to a TV station rank higher than relevant local news? The PR person in me thinks the media is getting less professional every second, but the journalist in me realizes that without subscriptions sold or ratings secured, our jobs would be all but eliminated. The quandry......