Great Expectations…

June 27, 2008

Ask any public relations professional what the toughest aspect of the job is and a good number would say it’s “managing the expectations of our clients.”  As a “young(ish) pro”, I struggle with this daily, but I also am wondering if I may actually be struggling with my own expectations of making the client happy.  I don’t just want them to be satisfied with the results we generate, I want them to be thrilled. 

What do you do when the reaction to a front page story or leading placement on the evening news broadcast is a simple thanks with no fanfare?  I guess the answer is that we have to be confident that they’re happy with those results – a lack of falling at your feet with gratitude probably means you’ve accomplished exactly what they expected of you, and what they’re paying you for.

Have you ever struggled with managing the expectations of the client?  Of yourself?  Any seasoned pros out there have some solid advice for those us who still need a good hard pat on the back once in a while?


Congratulations go out to Carrie White, a teacher from New River, who won a weekend getaway at the Four Seasons Resort in Scottsdale for correctly guessing Phoenix’s first 100 degree day as part of the fourth annual SMACNA Arizona (the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association) 100 Degree Contest.

The Valley hit the 100 degree mark on May 18th.  Now if Carrie can just tell us when the heat will end!

If a tree falls in the forest and there is nobody around, does it still make a noise when it hits the ground?

The New York Mets fired their manager and nobody was awake to learn about it.

After a late game in Los Angeles, the club issued a news release after 3 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time announcing the dismissal of Willie Randolph as the team’s skipper.  

This was done by a team that calls the largest media market in the country home!  While I tend to believe that sports information directors and professional sports teams’ public relations directors have a difficult job, doing something as boneheaded as this is way worse than dropping a routine pop fly.

Look on the bright side

June 18, 2008

Excellent article in Friday’s Phoenix Business Journal and commented on in the Valley PR Blog about former journalists going to the “Dark Side” and joining the PR profession.

I tend to think of the PR side as the “Bright Side.”  True, we have clients and issues that are not always fun, but it’s not a steady stream of roll-overs on I-17, four-car pile-ups, gloom and doom economic news and live team monsoon-storm coverage.  That can become “dark” pretty quickly.

Just ask the Channel 5 alumni who are now working in the PR field, including myself, Roger Downey at the Arizona Medical Board, Kelly Taft and Carlos Jurado at Maricopa Association of Governments, Laurie Munn at Schaller Anderson, Bart Graves at the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Holly Ward at  the Maricopa County Department of Air Quality, Ron Meritt and John Hernandez at PRfect Media or Patricia DiRoss at Qwest.  Bill Baer of Baerclaw Productions is in that alumni group, as well.

I’m sure I missed a few and I didn’t even get to the cadre of former Channel 12 staffers and the contingent from the other TV and radio stations now working in public relations.



The Arizona Chapter of EO recently presented its first ever Ben Brooks Mentor of the Year Award to Barry Libman of the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Libman was recognized for following in the footsteps of Brooks, who founded EO in Arizona more than a decade ago and who was a tremendous advocate for mentoring  entrepreneurs before a tragic accident took his life late last year.. 

Brooks’ son Tres was in my EO forum for years.  I was proud to be at the awards ceremony – and I wasn’t even related to the Brooks family. 

This award is an excellent way to carry on a tremendous legacy for years to come.

You Tube Press Releases

June 16, 2008


More and more I am seeing various news outlets reporting on celebs and other prominent figures whenever they post items to You Tube – obviously the result of press releases from the figures’ public relations folks.

Even in the “real world,” posting items to You Tube – and telling the media about it – can be a story and marketing strategy.

For example, just recently HMA pitched a story on a client, Cachet Homes, that was posting its television advertising to You Tube – and getting 40-60 percent bumps in web traffic as a result. We pitched the story as our client’s foray into viral marketing – and viola – a story was born!

In fact, it worked so well that we are considering creating several videos for both client use and viral marketing…

How about you?

Today I found a treasure trove of public relations-related blogs and thought I would share. I am only halfway through the list, but am already loving PR Disasters – definitely some great examples of what NOT to do in this business! Which are your faves?

Marketing Technologists?

June 12, 2008

Wow – just when I thought I had a grasp on this social media world and was becoming a pro at everything from MySpace to Facebook, I learn that I really still have a lot to learn.

While sitting with a client and interviewing a potential interactive marketing firm to join our communications team, I felt like I was learning a whole new vocabulary filled with phrases like “digital asset optimization” and “marketing technologists.”

How about you? Are you just learning about intricacies of digital marketing? Or maybe you are a pro that could teach me a few things?

It just goes to show we never stop learning, especially in this Web 2.0 communications realm.

Spanning the globe…

June 10, 2008

Jim McKay, who passed away over the weekend, was a tremendously talented broadcaster.  As the host of ABC’s Wild World of Sports and later the anchor of the network’s Olympic coverage, he set the bar for the rest of the industry.  For the era, it was cutting-edge.

Although he didn’t seem to have the same crispness in his reports during the last Olympiad, his reputation alone made you want to watch his stories.

Now, the snapshot in my memory of him reporting from the tragic Munich Olympics can remain forever.


PRSA Chair & CEO Jeffrey Julin has issued a video response to CBS Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen’s commentary challenging the integrity of the public relations profession. Julin refutes Cohen’s irresponsible condemnations through positive affirmation of the industry, and reinforces the fundamental role of the PRSA Code of Ethics as a guide for public relations professionals. The video, which also has been posted on the  PRSA YouTube channel, follows a written response to CBS submitted by Julin on behalf of PRSA and its Board of Directors.