Times is hard when PR fluff gets frozen out by Icelandic banks
PR agencies are struggling to get media coverage for their clients at the moment.
So says the weekly trade title PRWeek.
Quoting top people within the profession it says agencies are finding it tough going because the global economic downturn continues to dominate the headlines.
One London agency was forced to delay a client launch (they don't say what for) because finance journalists were preoccupied with the collapse of Icelandic Banks.
Yeh, right. That's what media relations is all about.
Another agency PR director said more stories were being dropped for lack of space - he claims it's the agencies who really know journalists who will stand out during this difficult time.
This sort of sob story annoys me. PR and media relations professionals should be prepared to work hard to gain coverage for their clients, not expect to pull favours from friendly hacks.
If it's not the collapse of Icelandic Banks, there will be other big stories dominating the news from time to time. It's an everyday challenge for PR practitioners - and the ones that should stand out should be the ones that can work with that day after day after day. Crunch or no crunch.
The best way to win solid media coverage is to be able to demonstrate how the story is relevant to the prevailing news agenda and the topical interests of readers, viewers and listeners. Just as you can and should adapt the content to fit different target audiences, you should be able to adapt it to fit changing interests over time.
I'm with Media House chairman Jack Irvine. He's a former Sun journalist and thinks more like I do: "You've got to explain to your more fluffy clients... they will need to get an angle that would fit in with the current coverage," he says. "It can sometimes be achieved if you think creatively."
When times are hard, it is the creative thinkers that deserve to succeed in PR.