Sunday, February 12, 2006

Corporate Media Relations 

There have been signs in recent years that the state of corporate media relations has not been healthy since the Internet Bubble broke. Individuals like Jack O"Dwyer have opined that corporate PR now treats media requests like "drive-by shootings." The Financial Times in a column on Friday blasted corporate PR (subscription required) for hiding CEOs. My colleagues discussed on several occasions a reluctance we see among CEOs to deal with business media. A former colleague, just laid off from a major PR firm, told me this past weekend that he sees CEOs hiding in their offices. CEOs depend now on investor relations and talk only to the Street, primarily because they have to.

A question we asked at Robert Marston And Associates was whether there was economic justification for a business press from a CEO's perspective. An answer we arrived at early was there isn't for some companies, but there is for others. That wasn't helpful, because it wasn't clear which companies needed corporate media relations and which didn't. This set off a bout of thinking and writing about five weeks ago. My first outline was way off the mark. My colleagues told me to go back and refocus my thinking. That took time and another outline that became this essay, which is now the 57th in the white paper series on online-pr.com.

My colleagues say the essay smacks more of a lecture, but I had to condense the argument to fit a decent length. This, of course, opens me to criticism, if you feel logic is not based on solid-enough evidence. That is why we call the essay a "discussion paper." It is designed to open the issue to a broader argumentation to determine if there is economic justification for working with business media, other than compliance with SEC Fair Disclosure rules.

You are welcome to use the paper or to disagree with it and with the author. If you disagree, please write and tell me why. The paper is a working document. Thanks.


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