The Joy of Public Relations

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canstockphoto27613609That’s right, the PR world can be a lot of fun – really – especially when you have clients who are engaged, interested and ready to respond when opportunities pop up. PR can also be incredibly frustrating when you have none of these but that’s another blog for another day.

Here are my top five Joys of PR.

The Write Stuff. For me, nothing makes me happier than a meaty writing assignment that requires research and a great deal of planning and foresight. Nothing beats taking reams of information and nailing down the right message at the right time and delivering it to the right audience. Call me a nerd, but when I put together a feature story, a brochure, an annual report, a newsletter, a book – whatever the assignment – and deliver it knowing that it nails exactly what the client was seeking, I dance a little happy dance in my head.

When it Hits the Fan. CEOs often quiver in their $600 loafers when crisis visits their organization – and what they sometimes forget is it is a matter of when not if. Clients who have great crisis plans in place can’t rest easy but at least they have a roadmap of where to start – which is generally the most frightening part of any crisis situation. But for me, put me in the middle of it. Next to writing, there is nothing more satisfying than helping a client manage a bad situation by doing the right thing all the time, every time.

Hitting the Right Note. Whether it’s a media relations plan, a special event, an employee communications program or any of the many other tactics that we employ, when you have the right strategy along with a client who is part of the process, there is nothing sweeter. Watching a strategy you created in concert with an engaged client roll out exactly as you had envisioned makes this PR guy’s heart beat a little faster.

Winning the Business. When I launched my company, I was sure that the part I was going to hate the most was the chase of new business. I wanted to “do” not pitch and chase. But I guess what I forgot is that I had been doing this my whole career. Whether it was seeking a new job to move up the corporate ladder or pitching the news media great stories from my clients, I was selling something or someone for decades. Selling myself and my skills is so much easier than that since I believe in me more than anything I’ve ever pitched before. So the chase is fun but when a prospect turns into a client, giving me the chance to treat her or him like the ONLY client I have, I absolutely love it.

The Big Hit. While the media landscape has changed dramatically opening up so many alternatives to the PR professional, I have to confess that I still get goosebumps from the big media hit. And while I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in some of the biggest media opportunities over my career – from the Today Show to CNN; USA Today to the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal; from the Ellen Degeneres Show to Parade Magazine – it’s hitting the right media outlet for any particular client that makes most sense and is truly the most satisfying. Though social media and web-based media have also become important tools of our trade, there is still nothing like hitting some of the more traditional holy grails of news media.

Like any business, PR can be frustrating at times and I know it’s easy to get caught up in the nonsense. Just remember the reasons why you got into the business in the first place and embrace the many joys of PR.

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Should Caitlyn Jenner Dance?

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canstockphoto3250584Almost as soon as the Vanity Fair cover appeared, the speculation began about Caitlyn Jenner’s next move and among the speculation was a possible appearance on the next season of Dancing with the Stars. Whether or not it makes sense for Jenner to appear on the popular show can be argued both ways, particularly from a public relations perspective.

The carefully orchestrated campaign by Bruce Jenner and his camp to announce the transition and then Caitlyn Jenner’s subsequent first photos on the cover of Vanity Fair have been nothing short of brilliant when it comes to PR value. And it’s for that reason that I believe there are still skeptics who amazingly (and wrongfully) believe that this is all a publicity stunt. Great publicity can be orchestrated given the right sense of circumstances and a stunt is not a necessity. Jenner and her advisors have done all the right things at the right time to treat a potentially volatile story with the utmost of sensitivity and sensibility.

But whether or not the next step of high profile appearances should include a season on Dancing With The Stars has to be something that if the Jenner camp is considering – that it is considering with a great deal of thought and running a good old list of pros and cons.

Why Caitlyn Jenner Should Appear on DWTS

Like everything else in this well-thought-out series of events, an appearance on DWTS in October could revive a storyline that may have gotten a little stale by then. If Jenner’s true to her word that this is all about happiness and a little education on the side, then DWTS could thrust her story back into the spotlight right about the time that it may be off most people’s radar screen.

In addition, DWTS is a softball way to get herself in the entertainment spotlight without facing tough questions from reporters. Jenner would, in effect, get to script her own story and tell America – and the world – what she wants it to hear, when she wants everyone to hear it. Even as a castoff appearing on Good Morning America, Jenner isn’t going to deal with anything even semi-tough when the morning crew gushes over her dancing skills and talks to her professional dance partner about what a great job she did in tough circumstances. While careers haven’t been revived on the show, some of the stars from DWTS have become more a part of the public conscious than they had been for years. And while Jenner doesn’t need to be thrust back into the scene, an appearance can certainly keep her relevant for a longer period of time.

Why Caitlyn Jenner Should Avoid DTWS

It can be argued that Jenner’s story has already risen to a point that it supersedes an entertainment show like DWTS. Her story has been told in serious tones, in serious venues and DWTS may be a little too soft to keep going the narrative that has evolved.

Caitlyn Jenner doesn’t need DWTS. With millions upon millions of Twitter followers and a carefully crafted messaging campaign, Jenner’s story may have already jumped the likes of DWTS and an appearance may only bring down the narrative to a level of entertainment fluff that will take away the impact that has grown over the past several months.

Whether it’s the right move or not, it won’t surprise me if Jenner dances or if she chooses to sit this one out. My best guess? If Jenner’s PR machine keeps up its magnificent record of success as the reality show launches this summer, I don’t think you’ll see her in high heels dancing the cha cha to a Disney song this fall. To dance or not to dance? That is the question.