The days of mass mailings, mass e-mails and cold-calling producers and editors are over. I subscribe to the theory that each client is an individual and thus require the “Personal Touch”. Whether it be an Actor, Producer, Author, Recording Artist or Corporation, the “pitch” needs to be personalized for each client and to each media outlet. First and foremost, there MUST be open lines of communication between the PR Pro and the client. Honesty is key. Educate the client – identify strengths and weaknesses – be truthful as to what the potential results are vs. what may result. Also,
- A. Chose a client that is telogenic and media savvy. If not, you are in trouble from the get-go.
- B. Get to know your client. Research and learn as much about them as you can possibly can. Be informed on both a personal and professional level. You don’t want to be surprised three months down the line — secrets are meant to be uncovered. Open the closet before the media does.
- C. Hire a skilled writer to compose a bio and supporting press kit materials (FAQ sheet, What People Are Saying/Quote sheet, etc.) that will best showcase the unique qualities and strengths of the client. Once completed, spend the necessary time to assure that the message is clear and concise — you get one shot at making a powerful and compelling first impression – take the time to do it right.
- D. Hire a photographer that will showcase the diversity of the client — from a simple headshot to fashion to lifestyle images. Photos need to not only be breathtaking and eye-catching but also capture the personality of the client. Once again, “first impressions” (no pun intended).
- E. Develop a pitch or multiple pitches that can be serviced to diverse media outlets. For instance, a “Black Actress” does not need to be pigeonholed into “Black Media”. Develop additional pitches that can serve the mainstream TV media, Business outlets, Lifestyle outlets, Political outlets. It is the job of the publicist to broaden the range of possibilities for each client – done with integrity and credibility at all costs and at all times (of course).
- HAVE THE PRESS KIT AVAILABLE ELECTRONICALLY AND FOR SNAIL MAIL/FAXING. Each outlet takes submissions differently.
- F. Identify key media outlets for the initial launch of the client. From there, build accordingly. If done properly – with patience – persistence – and skill — the “Domino Effect” will kick in.
- G. Work with the client on a daily basis – whether it be to create a pitch that could be part of a Breaking News cycle or for ReImaging and ReBranding purposes. We all have many layers – don’t be afraid to peel them off.
- H. Prepare the client for each interview/appearance. Inform them of what the outlet is looking for and how the message (of the client) can best serve the outlet and the client. Personally, I like to have clients conduct pre-interviews prior to each appearance and/or prepare a list of suggested questions.
- I. Persevere and protect. If you get a NO FIND ANOTHER WAY IN. Once again, unpeel those layers — most of the time what you need is there underneath waiting to be discovered and nurtured.
Hope this helps. I will dig further into this at a later time. In closing, be genuine, be wise and know your brand. Don’t sell yourself short and NEVER sell out. The objective is to have a lasting career that is both maintained and strengthened via an always evolving PR campaign. At the same time, however, if you long to be on the cover of Life & Style every week, than I am not your guy. Until next time … Peace!