Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Too True 

This unhappy view of publicists is sadly true. It has been this way for a long time. In the 1980s, I would quiz subordinates on product knowledge, so they could represent clients properly. In the 1990s, I worked with publicists who didn't know the products they were handling, and their attitude was that it wasn't their job. They were there to get releases and press kits out. Today, not much has changed except the environment in which publicists work.

There never has been and never will be an excuse for failing to understand the issue, product or service one is promoting. It is self-limiting laziness. There are publicists who consider themselves salespersons. "Give me a topic, and I'll dial for dollars with the media." They are helpless when reporters ask questions. Reporters get frustrated and go around them, if possible, or they don't write a good story because they can't get answers quickly enough.

It is hard to keep up with product knowledge, but it is a basic task of PR.

Thanks to my colleague, Mike Millican, for spotting this article.


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