Super Bowl Speech for the PR Industry
February 5, 2016
As narrated by Al Pacino from Any Given Sunday
Well guys, here we are.
At a crossroads of our industry.
As newspapers fold and the media industry slowly deteriorates, PR flourishes. Three reps for every reporter. 4 to 1. It doesn’t really matter. It’s harder and harder to place coverage, we’re competing with one another and we’re resorting to titles like “PR Ninja” to stand out.
And we can accept that.
Continue to flash a toothy grin, kiss the asses of those who retain us and hock their latest strategic “industry-leading” this and that.
All of which we’d be happy to have the CEO talk about, under embargo.
We can churn and burn through clients and media.
We can continue, pitch by pitch, until we’re finished.
And then on to the next client, next reporter, next IOT device.
And we can stay here and get the shit kicked out of us by outsiders, annoyed media, bad PR Blog and the bad pitch that goes viral and is associated with us all.
We can accept that this is our lot in life.
That it’s our job to sell snake oil and we’re just doing it the best we can.
Or we can fight our way back into the light.
We can climb out of hell. One pitch, at a time.
I look around and I see these young faces in the industry,
and I think “We can be better.”
Social media guy – you can come up with content that isn’t just selling something else.
Media guy – you gotta step up, start hitting those reporters
with something that helps them as much as it helps your client.
New business guy – buddy, we gotta stop overselling.
Team, we can stop selling stuff. And start selling ideas.
We can build relationships, meaningful ones that extend beyond a launch
and shine through with tangible results. Results that give the end user something real.
This doesn’t come with shotgun outreach. It doesn’t come with sending everyone from ABC News through ZDNET the same email. They’ve received shit before. They can smell it. They can see it. For them, it’s an inbox flooded with it. All in the form of a recycled pitch.
In this game of pitches, the margin for error is so small.
I mean, deadlines, personal experience, breaking news.
One half second too late or too early, your pitch won’t make it.
One half second too slow or too fast, the reporter won’t read it.
The info we need is everywhere around us.
Info we need to build a relationship with the media.
In this industry, it’s the one who is willing to build meaningful relationships with reporters and provide valuable content that is going to get that hit.
In this industry, it’s the person who knows when news is news and shit is shit, and doesn’t try to sell them both the same, that is going to get that hit.
Now I can’t make you do it.
You gotta look at the person in the cube next to you.
Look into his eyes.
Now I think you are going to see a guy who will change his pitch.
You are going to see a girl
who will sacrifice her time to craft meaningful pitches and build
relationships with reporters because she knows when it comes down to it,
it’s that meaningful media relationship
that will make all the difference.
That’s PR, team
and either we change now, as a team,
or we will die as individuals.
Now, whattaya gonna do?