Saturday, 13 October 2012

Public Relations

A PR, yesterday.
Once upon a time I used to work for a lads magazine (for foreign readers - a men's lifestyle magazine mostly featuring half naked women) and there was an oft heard phrase in the office: 'PR lies'.  This meant a PR promising something that they never delivered.  Journalists are of course spoilt in many ways; invitations to free film screenings, bar openings (with free booze) and unbelievably one summer, the free use of an apartment in Ibiza for the duration of the party season.  But interviews with big name stars and press trips to exciting countries were often dangled carrots that we never got to get our teeth into.  Cue big gaping holes on the flat-plan of the magazine that needed to be filled and much gnashing of teeth.  PR lies.  Damn them for not following through on their promises.

Now I've grown up a bit, I'm much more sympathetic to their usefulness.  Travel PRs in particular endure a nerve wracking process to deliver press exposure for their clients.  They have to engage the interests of writers, writers have to pitch successfully to commissioning editors and even if that goes well, the story might get killed before it see print or web space.  For my own part, I misguidedly thought that circumnavigating PRs in order to continue Pass Me On would be a good idea.  They wouldn't think much of a blog anyway (nothing in it for them unless the blog has gazillions of readers) and particularly for certain representatives, they'd be getting requests for interviews from celebrities all the time.   Why would they bother with me? This is only partly true for Pass Me On.  Though I request direct contact details for each successive interviewee, Norman Jay came via a PR.  I can only put this down to lucking out with a lovely person (Roberta at Dusted) respecting a good idea when they see one.

Post Matt Berry, I've been chasing the next link in the chain for what feels like months now.  Person X was pretty busy all through the Olympic period and I was happy to wait, but there's been no contact for weeks now.  Fair enough if he's no longer interested, I just need to know.  Which makes me think that PRs are a good idea.  You get a straight answer and if it's in the positive, a time and a date.  Everyone knows where they stand.  So this blog is by way of a confession box asking for forgiveness for my past sin of slagging PRs.  They certainly have their uses.  Now I just have to find out who represents X.

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