Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Good Press, Bad Press

Can bad press be good press?

I think so. One of the main purposes in using public relations is to generate awareness. And, in this day and age, people are even more in tune with creating their own opinions than ever. Trusting the press isn't the first thing they do when they read a story. In fact, if something negative is written, it may have the opposite effect - people take it as positive because they mistrust the press!

So, if you have something negative written about you:

1. DON'T stress and freak out.
2. DON'T contact the writer/paper and yell at them!
3. DO contact the writer and thank them for writing and offer a time to meet and give them more information.
4. DO share the story with friends, supporters, etc. and ask for their feedback. Perhaps encourage them to write a letter to the editor.
5. DO include that writer/paper in further PR correspondence.
6. DO use it as a learning experience about what the public wants to hear and how information is interpretted - THAT is the power of PR!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Burlington's Old North End

Burlington's Old North End has always been endearing to my heart, and many others who choose to reside and/or do business there. When I first moved to Vermont in the spring of 2000, I moved into the Old North End in an apartment I lived in for seven years. Just recently I moved to launch my public relations business (with a more suitable office space and opportunity for expense consolidation) to yet another area of the North End - closer to the core.

When I first learned about it in Seven Days, I joined The Front Porch Forum. The Forum, which really fosters a valuable online avenue for neighbors to communicate, is where I found out about the newly created Old North End Arts and Business Network. I immediately sent in my $25 one year membership fee, excited about the opportunity to get my business and personal passions involved in the community I live in! Prior to this networking opportunity, my "North End" involvement includes power walking through the neighborhoods, meeting Melodie Bean at Vantage Press where I will certainly bring any print work, attending the local pancake breakfast at Lawrence Barnes School, and enjoying one of my favorite watering holes and music venues, Radio Bean. Oh, and I split my local shopping needs between Waggy's, Dave's Old North End Variety Store, and Radio Deli.

Anyway, last night I attended my first Old North End Arts and Business Association (ONE Arts & Business for short, ONE=Ward One) meeting at the lovely coffee shop, Viva Espresso. The brainchild of Burlington's community-minded real estate folks at Redstone, ONE Arts & Business is something I feel is much needed in the Old North End as a powerful opportunity to bring the community together, a vehicle to offer marketing potential for the businesses in the North End neighborhoods, and a great first step in making efforts to highlight the history, diversity, and vitality of Burlington's North End - surely the most eclectic part of nationally renowned eclectic city!

A group of us branched off to form an event committee charged with the task of creating a spring event to encourage visitation, shopping, and enjoyment of the Old North End. We meet next Tuesday, December 11th from 4-5 pm at The Bobbin Sew Bar & Craft Lounge and I encourage anyone reading to share with anyone you think might be interested in joining the committee!!

I am so excited about the opportunity to offer my public relations skills and my artistic flare to my community and am sure there will be more on such endeavors to come!!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A PR Pet Peeve

I love what I do. I love being able to help people share their business, experience and energy with their targeted audiences. I also take my profession seriously and feel it is very important to work with clients to find what is newsworthy and timely to talk to media about. I shun clients from engagement in "shameless self promotion" since the key of public relations, in my opinion, is to find what is newsworthy and share it with the media without expectations and with respect of their busy jobs. My ultimate goal is for a media contact to cover a client's news in a timely manner, but even more important is to build solid relationships with media contacts. I have worked hard to cultivate good, trustworthy relationships with media contacts so they feel they can call me to get information, regardless of who my clients are and so when I contact them, it is for a reason that they or their audiences may have some interest in. I understand that media folks are busy, working on deadlines, trying to meet a variety of demands, and don't have enough hours in the day to often get done all that needs to get done.

What creates my pet peeve is when I continuously get no response from some media folks when I have good, valid, and newsworthy reasons to be in touch with them. I work very hard to not be a flashy, stick-up-my-bum, sales oriented PR person. And while I understand media folks work in a very fast-paced, deadline driven environment, everyone has stresses to deal with and deadlines to meet. In my opinion and upbringing in respectful business practices, there is no excuse to blatantly ignore people and provide no response to emails or phone calls. Rudeness sucks. I mean, everyone is just trying to do their jobs, so we can enjoy our lives outside work. And, I wish people in general would not judge others by their business position - you never know who you can enjoy a good beer with!

Maybe these will be my general wishes for humanity this Christmas. Don't judge, respect others, and realize everyone is just trying to make it in this crazy world.