The perfect pitch – it’s personal

July 15, 2010


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.



Setting 2010 up for growth

January 27, 2010


It’s now time to turn the page on 2009 and focus on the year ahead: 2010, year of the Tiger. In Chinese tradition, the Tiger is smart, determined and socially oriented. It doesn’t mind a challenge and is thrilled to be in new places.

So with this in mind, the start of the new year is a great time to review your business plan and explore areas of growth for 2010. One way to do this is by bringing your team together and looking at what is called a ‘blue ocean’ strategy.

Explore the blue ocean

The Ansoff growth matrix (below) is a tool that helps businesses decide their product and market growth strategy. Businesses located on the left hand column compete in an existing market where they have to constantly beat the competition and exploit the existing demand. It can be a comfortable and safe place to be.

On the right hand column, the blue ocean is a space of innovation and little competition. It can help build brands. Businesses in that space are creating and capturing new demand and making their competition irrelevant. Although more challenging and risky than working with existing products, the blue ocean can bring most rewards when executed well.



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Blogging: Australian public relations agencies not practising what they preach

October 14, 2009


Blogging has become a popular marketing strategy to establish an organisation as an industry leader, provide insights and connect with online audiences. However, Australian public relations agencies have been slow taking up this practice for their own businesses.

Only one quarter of members of the PR industry group, the Registered Consultancies Group (RCG) have a company blog.

The RCG is part of the industry body the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) and seeks to provide professional standards on consultancy operations for PR agencies.

“Blogs can be an effective tool for setting yourself up as an industry leader, creating brand awareness and encouraging brand loyalty,” said Kim Larochelle, account manager for Dennis Rutzou Public Relations.

“There has been much discussion in the industry about how blogging can benefit a client’s business but it seems not too many PR agencies have taken the strategy on board for their own businesses”, said Kim.

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