After attending a PRIA event last night called the ‘Perfect Pitch’, I retired for the evening feeling enlightened, yet slightly deflated.
It was a well organised night and a great atmosphere for meeting some new people (please note my deliberate avoidance of the term ‘networking’- the thought of straining for ‘mutually beneficial’ relationships rather than a simple ‘hey how’s it going, I like your shoes’ over a glass of bubbly makes me cringe- but that’s a whole different blog in the making)
The guest speakers were great and offered insight into the day to day happenings at a women’s lifestyle mag, a day in the life of a television morning show producer and some pearls of wisdom from a part time and passionate food blogger. All of these women are top of their game and it was great to hear them speak about the nature of their jobs and industries. It offered a humanised explanation of what PR’s can sometimes perceive as irrational editor hostility. In reality they’re just super duper busy women under tight deadlines.
But despite its name, the lingering theme of the evening was, ‘there is no such thing as a perfect pitch’. Like with anything, it is completely subjective.
Apparently Mia Freedman does not want that follow up call after a media release, in stark contrast to last night’s guest speaker who thinks it’s imperative. Some journalists prefer emails to phone calls, some will divert your calls to their voicemail time and time again and some will never write back to your emails. Most bloggers seem to operate according to their own guidelines and ethics and will not pander to PR product pushes. Some will fiercely resist them all together. Alternately, some won’t.
So what’s a girl (or guy) to do? How do you combat such vastly differing requirements from editors, producers, journalists and bloggers?
It seems to me that the one request from the media corner last night was for the superfluous niceties to be cut out of press releases and email interaction. Basically, time is precious, so don’t waste it.
Conversely, there was a universal agreement that the way to succeed in your PR efforts is to build real and tangible media relationships, and in order to do this convincingly, one must dabble in the odd bit of wining, dining and schmoozing.
So is the simple answer a free coffee and a face to face catch up? If only I could get past voicemail.