A portrait of a charming PR…

November 6, 2007

Fancy yourself as something of a charmer when it comes to getting your topic onto the schedules for broadcast? Or maybe you just fancy yourself as a bit of a charmer, which has less relevance for this blog, but hey…

PRs spend plenty of time trying to convince producers of the relative merits of their pitch, the magnificent interview value of their client, and the stellar and ever so tiemly interest value to the listeners. But is this soon to be moribund? Are your smooth words to become redundant?

Jeff Jarvis blogged last week [article] about the introduction of schedules incorporating feedback from the audience, before they’re even broadcast. Newsnight is one example, Radio 4 iPM show another. ‘The people’ seem to have got very firmly behind this, which is even more alarming for the eager PR.

When the wisdom of crowds [a concept not without its oxymoronic value] is applied to media schedules, the bold assertions you make to the producer in your pitch ring more hollow.

Is this the future? Probably not. It relies on programmes with a sufficiently motivated and time-rich audience to feedback. Newsnight and Radio 4 have this. MTV probably would too. Gardner’s World would seem a natural candidate targeting the silver surfer. Not every programme has access to this, and the time demands are not inconsequential.

How do you tackle it as a PR? Ensure you’re telling your brand/corporate story clearly, and let the masses act as your advocate. Open up and reach out. After all, it is they, the people, who are deciding the schedule.


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