Are You Needlessly Burning Your People? I once had one of those interviews that wasn’t really an interview. It was one of those “I’m not saying we have an opening but if we did would you be interested?” Truth be told I was interested. I like the head of the office and I liked their work. During our little game of footsie we nibbled around several topics — title, benefits, scope of work, etc. I asked about a typical week.
Is That Your Ego or Are You Just Happy to See Me? From being both a reporter and a media consultant, I’m bumfuzzled at the number of people/companies that hire public relations counsel — often at considerable expense — and then ignore every piece of advice because they know better. You could have more fun making it rain in a strip club if wasting money is what you’re after.
Dear Netflix: To Err is Human; What's Next? To My Good Friends in Senior Management at Netflix: OK. We’re not BFFs on Facebook or anything, but I have been a monthly subscriber to your service for almost a year and have no burning desire to bail. I’m not going to rap you on the knuckles over the whole Qwikster mess; not your finest hour.
Beware the Shaggy Dog Ten years ago the question: “What makes a good client?” would spark a lively discourse. Today it seems the quintessential client only needs two attributes — a check that doesn’t bounce and a pulse. As such in the past five-plus years we’ve all chased some shaggy dogs only to wind up with fleas. I get it. No cash flow, no business. But when an agency will chase anything for a buck they do long-term brand damage.
These Are Not Made to Be Broken Most of my professional life has been spent as a reporter. As such, I’ve been pitched on stories every conceivable way. Singing telegrams, an afternoon on an Air Force refueling plane. and my personal favorite: a Reuben sandwich sent through the mail. I can’t recall the client or the pitch, but I can remember how it smelled. All these were done to try and garner some positive press coverage. The irony of such is none of that is necessary if the story is worth telling.
There Are No Magic Bullets My first jobs after college were in radio/television news departments, and that was the first time I ever heard of consultants. When things weren't working the wisdom was "let's bring in a consultant" to fix what's wrong.