Saturday, December 13, 2003

Reminisce Over You

A shout out to Pete Rock and CL Smooth's TROY, but with POP! Public Relations looking over the past year at public relations in Arizona. It ain't pretty, but it's odd.

1. I could start with my fun with IABC, the argument that ended with the comment that Phoenix does not want to be like Minneapolis, St. Louis or other mid-sized cities with good PR reputations. STILL trying to wrap my mind around that one.

As the great Stan Lee noted, 'Nuff Said.

2. Or, I could start with the lack of local companies using local public relations firms, and then them paying big NY or LA bucks for okay results.

There are many large firms in Arizona, that are spending massive amounts of money with Los Angeles or New York offices of international public relations firms. Recently, one such company - that has an in-house group of 5 - spent $75,000 to open a store in Times Square. According to the PR Week article, the biggest want was Daily Candy. Daily Candy is cool, very cool, and just got bought by Bob Pittman. But, how about a little outreach to local firms in Times Square - my friend works in the area, and had no clue that this store opened. Come on, a little PUBLIC in the PR, and reach out to local business?

3. Or, I could start with local companies just not understanding public relations and refusing to pay what it costs for a good, comprehensive campaign.

I have been in conversations with a few local companies, and they really don't understand the value of public relations (then again, the European companies I talk to have the same cheap quality, but at least they are charming). There are two companies in particular that I washed my hands of - they both have great stories (in different industries), it would be relatively easy to get national press, but the corporations will not spend the money needed to tell the story. And, I'm sorry, I'm not going to devalue POP! Public Relations and take less money for a good program.

4. Or, I could start with a local tech firm that decided to plaster Fast Company's Fast 50 with executives, ending up nominating more than 5 different executives for the same category.

My immediate thoughts were that either the PR firm did not have control over the nominating process, or the executives themselves decided to post themselves, or that the internal PR person, with the firm, decided the best strategy was to post as many people as possible. It gets worse, though, since there are options to post comments. Here's a little helpful hint for PR firms and junior people - do NOT post comments on your own clients' entry, such as "you're the bestest" or other back patting comments. Let the Fast 50 be chosen on merits, not on transparent guerilla attempts. Public relations already has its own PR issues with the public and media, so do we really need to partake on something that borders on unethical?

As an aside, I took down my comment section because the service I was using was crashing the site, and then replaced it with another comment company - Haloscan. Also added an RSS feed by BlogMatrix. Have to thank MNPR blog for showing the way that I could do an RSS feed with Blogger. Come on Google, pour some cash into Blogger before it becomes a has-been to MT!!
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