Is your PR firm lazy?

31 10 2007

PR is not the biggest part of my business but I certainly have had occasion to pitch for my clients. I believe in PR and developing contacts with media and getting the message out there. It’s actually fun to make a connection with someone who is honestly interested in a product or service that you’re pitching. I’ve enjoyed some inspiring conversations. Yesterday, in a post on his blog, Chris Anderson – Wired Editor-in-chief and author of The Long Tail – published a list of emails collected from his INBOX from people he says were basically spaming him with lazy PR work.

“Lazy flacks send press releases to the Editor in Chief of Wired because they can’t be bothered to find out who on my staff, if anyone, might actually be interested in what they’re pitching.”

I see a couple of names in there that will not be very happy to find they’ve been bumped out as spam. But really, if the PR firm doesn’t have enough fire to get the message out to the right journalists… via a creative and well-designed presentation, is there any real hope of the message getting to the end-user in a manner to inspire them?

A good PR firm or communications department should know who is following a given sector and have a list of journalists and trend-setters to contact. If this sort of list doesn’t exist, it really isn’t that difficult to build one. This shows how lazy automated systems make us and how doing the same thing day-in-day-out can breed contempt for our work.

Part of my professional background being in journalism, I have a healthy respect for the work journalists do but I also know that the more of their work that I do for them, the more likely they are to run with my story. I’m just about to start on a project – a CD-ROM for journalists covering the jewelery fashion industry. Each year our focus is on providing a tool that makes the journalist’s job easier. I guess it’s working. It’s the fifth year for this project.

“I am where I am because I believe in all possibilities.”Whoopi Goldberg


Cool tool of the trade

30 10 2007

I’ve used many presentation tools (software) over the last 15 years, but I have to say that I really like the ease-of-use and transportability of Jing Project from Techsmith Corporation. In just a few minutes you can have a simple presentation together – voice over included – and it’s available anywhere on the Web if you wish.

For now the project is running as a free service and Techsmith is asking for feedback from users. While not opensource, the project is collecting plenty of comments from users with the intention of further defining the product. Eventually, we’ll have to pay to use Jing but the price will certainly be worth it.

I find it very useful for projects where the team is spread out in multiple locations. I can flip through my ideas on screen and record my comments as I click through the windows. Really, I can set up a meeting in minutes. My colleagues can see what I’m talking about and I haven’t had to type a word.

I’ll post a couple of examples here soon.

Fear of the Internet

29 10 2007

I tend to live in two different worlds; with folks that are adopters of all things net – like myself, and friends who actually FEAR the intrusion of the Internet on their lives.

I try to hide my surprise when a friend tells me she hasn’t signed up with Facebook because it will leave crazies to her door, and then there’s my housekeeper who doesn’t know anything about computers complains how companies & government departments tell her to get the information from their website.

While my friend is right to be concerned with putting personal information on the internet, does the potential for harm really mean she should avoid it all together? To me that’s the same as saying you shouldn’t drive a car because there are accidents. Surely someone can learn the pitfalls of placing personal information on the web and learn that there are some basic safe practices that will prevent much of the unwanted things from happening.

While, I understand that older citizens are not necessarily drawn to the digital world and certainly not everyone can afford or has access to computers – where is that happy medium?

Microstock Shooting Professional Photography in the Foot?

18 10 2007

Amateur photographers are stepping into the territory of the professionals and that’s mostly a good thing. Prosumer cameras and the digital darkroom make it possible for the multitudes, if not the masses, to improve the quality and certainly the quantity of images they take. Many are taking advantage of microstock websites to monetize the expensive equipment and these sites are only too happy to pocket a large percentage of each sale.

Agencies are delighted to have a wider selection and certainly the ridiculously low prices. Ah the economy of scale. Sure some of the photographers are actually pretty good and more than worthy of being a stock photographer. One would expect that they will eventually migrate that way. Or perhaps the microstock agencies are hoping to grow large enough to take on the big guns out there. With so much of the established stock agencies power aligned to the vastness of  their libraries then this seems unlikely.

However, the issue is quality and I suppose the Long Tail.

There is little question that the depth of quality is not available on microstock sites. However, if you agree with the Long Tail theory, then one would believe that there is a place for the lesser quality images finding buyers – I’m sure there’s a lot of truth in that.

Still what does this say for the quality of visual communication we’re exposed to on a daily basis. Is this like the “junk foodinization” of photography. We’ll take what we’re served because it’s acceptable and cheap? Will kids of today think that great photography only requires a vast number of pixels in the same way as kids today think home cooking is putting something in a microwave?

Stream of consciousness

15 10 2007

While I have a real life, I spend a lot of my time on the Internet. It’s where I work and the tools of my trade. I’m an Internet Branding professional. I spend my work hours offering solutions and opinions to companies – small and large – on how to best leverage and present their brand via the plethora of interactive technologies. I love my work.

That said, it only seems fair that I should test out my experiences and show folks the path that I take each day… or almost everyday. If I had a straight path through everything, if everything was easy I don’t think I’d offer services as solid as I believe I do. Experience in building and utilizing platforms for others is one thing, being able to do it for yourself… well, that’s a whole other ball game.

I love the Internet, examining how it impacts our personal, professional and collective lives.

I hope you’ll get some useful hints & tips from me as I pass through this exercise. Sure, you’ll have to endure some of my real personality. Yes, I have other sites and blogs. They are all aimed at garnering the widest spectrum of information for myself, as well as my clients.

“…Life is good but never fair…” – lou reed

Hello world!

15 10 2007

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!