An Early Spring Clean

January 14, 2009

Wow! I cleaned my office yesterday – and not just a surface clean where this pile of papers get moved over there. I really, really cleaned my office which included going through 3 drawers that proved to be a PR and BPR time-capsule, kind of like what I should have made for my kids so they could have seen what life was like in 1983; the year I graduated high-school. Anyway before I get to far down the road of DEVO and Tears for Fears – back to my 3 drawers.

Amidst the old Tums bottles and various trade show badges ( I miss COMDEX) I found a lot of memory joggers that made me laugh, reflect, sigh, wonder, and occasionally sneeze! I found our original lease from September of 1998 – it was a 2 year agreement for 2 offices totaling 500sqr ft. It was a lot cheaper than our 4,000sqr ft that’s for sure and  made me yearn for the days of a rent payment equal to a few Venti drips. I found cell phones and more cell phones including my 1999 Motorola StarTac and an early version of an HP PDA. Included in the treasure trove was the best album of 1998 by the best band of all time: Before These Crowded Streets by the Dave Matthews Band. But again I digress.

Aside from the personal effects there were hundreds of articles BPR secured for our various clients from the days. Some of my favorite included an interview with Martin Tobias (Minister of Order and Reason) and the CEO of, which became Loudeye, went public – shot to $50 – and later sold to Nokia. The article looked at a new trend called “digital distribution” and explored that one day people may consume music by simply downloading it on the Internet; imagine that. Another top-hit was a feature story on our very first client, with much of the article focusing on would people every really shop online? Others included a small start-up in Renton called Classmates (acquired by United Online for $100M) and the brilliant brainchild of Brian McGarvey – And the press-clippings reminded me of all the speculation around Marc Andreessen’s next move when he launched Loudcloud in 1999 (yes we owned two LOUD accounts) which turned into Opsware, acquired by HP for $1.6B in 2007.Â

While so much has changed the very fundamentals of this job have remained consistent: know who you’re pitching, READ what they write before ever making contact, know your facts, have a worthy story, don’t promise exclusives to more than 1 reporter, and do what you say / say what you do. Yes – social media has changed the landscape and cell phone cameras and email hold us much more accountable (email is the new smoking gun), but the very foundation what we PR folk do is nearly unchanged. We tell stories and if we do it right – people listen. Simple stuff. Kind of like cleaning your office.Â


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