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Subject: Re: UKNM: longer question re pr
From: Alex Balfour
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 17:39:04 +0100

>Certainly all the marketing &
>>media press placed several articles about the proposition.
>Maybe this is an issue of semantics, but what do you mean by 'placed'? Was
>it that journalists decided that the issue was worthy of column inches and
>chose to run it. If so, is that good PR/marketing or just a case of
>publications selecting articles that are valid for their readership?
>>At the time we were carefully managing what would be covered when so that
>>we always had a new story from Fundraising to launch and beyond. Our PR
>>people had to do allot more than just PR releases.
>I'm sure they did, and I'm sure they did a good job, I just don't understand
>your use of 'placing' that's all. Maybe we shd go offline about this.....

I would hope that only editors, or more precisely their layout team,
"place" stories. What we seem to be discussing here is pitching stories.
Good PR can help persuade journalists that a story is worthy of attention.
A combination of good personal contacts, charm, and carefully written press
releases can do a lot for a flaky story. But far too many PR companies
simply churn out releases with little sensitivity to *their* readership,
the journalists. Worse, most IT PRs rarely understand the strories they are
trying to pitch anyway.

Of course often seemingly sound stories are overlooked however cleverly
they are pitched. Some, though not all, journalists simply feel
uncomfortable taking story after story from the same agency.

Last year, when I was editing GE'97 at Online Magic the press couldn't get
enough of us, and we were featured in around 50 separate articles. The same
PR company couldn't raise any interest outside a very limited section of
the trade/Internet press when we launched a public consultation for the
government's Freedom of Information White Paper six months later.
Personally I think we had a lot of unmerited coverage in the first
instance, and were unlucky in the second.

There is of course the further question of whether offline coverage is of
much value to web sites or other online ventures.

Alex Balfour
Politics producer & Search Engine/ Webguide writer, The Guardian:


Manager, CricInfo: http://www.cricket.org
tel:+44 171 924 2325, fax: +44 171 681 1320,
mobile 07050 155042 email:mysoreatdircon [dot] co [dot] uk


  Re: UKNM: longer question re pr, Mike Bracken

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