PR Lies in my LinkedIn Inbox
By Mark Macias
Linkedin is losing credibility.
I got an email on Linkedin last week from a professional contact, promoting a service. It was about publicity so naturally it got my attention.
He opened his email with a provocative statement that appealed to every entrepreneur’s core.
“Publicity is the most under used method to get attention, yet the media is starving for stories.”
Could it be possible that the media is starving for stories and getting publicity is the most under used method to get attention?
Sorry to burst your bubble but this soon-to-be-deleted Linkedin contact is shoveling perfume-scented manure to his professional contacts.
“Starving for stories” implies there is a shortage of story pitches hitting reporters and producers. As an Executive Producer with WNBC, I approved story ideas from publicists, reporters and producers. When I would log into my email at NBC and CBS every morning, I would easily have 300 new emails that were sent overnight from publicists trying to get their clients on the news.
But maybe that is New York, right? Isn’t it possible that smaller markets like Phoenix and Miami are starving for stories? Not based on my experience working as a TV producer in those markets. There were so many stories pitched in the morning news meetings that inevitably some reporters and producers would walk away with their ideas not getting picked.
In a 30-minute newscast, which is actually 22 minutes after commercials are accounted for, time is a valuable commodity. Add in sports and weather, and you have a heck of a lot of people trying to get their product inside of 12 minutes of air time. You get the picture.
I think the Linkedin spammer might have had a better argument if he said the media is looking for good ideas. Everyone has a story to tell, which you can find on any night of the week inside a NYC bar. But the media doesn’t want to cover those stories. The media wants to cover stories that have a compelling narrative, stories that impact the public, stories that uncover wrongs or inspire people to do right. Yes – not all news is bad. There is a home for inspiring stories and in TV, we usually call it the kicker.
Many of our interns write for a sister-publication – 212Access.com – I always tell my interns to start a story with something I don’t know. Don’t tell me something I already know. Enlighten me. Move me with your opening.
“Publicity is the most under used method to get attention.”
That spammer’s opening was neither enlightening, nor creative. I think my PR interns could teach him a few things about publicity. I wonder if anyone else fell for his email.
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Mark Macias is a former Executive Producer with WNBC and Senior Producer with WCBS. He’s also the author of the communications book, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media. Macias now consults small and large businesses on how to get publicity. You can read more on his firm at MaciasPR.