Tuesday, June 24, 2008
It still amazes me the lack of awareness that people...smart, successful people...have about how editorial decisions are made.
Some people still believe that they can call the general manager of a TV station, because he's a golf buddy or whatever, and "place" a story on the news. "Yeah, I called Ed and told him we needed something on the news about xyz." THEY THINK THAT WORKS! I suppose somehwere along the way, it must have. Some misguided GM started commanding producers or a news director to do some story that didn't fairly and ethically make its way through the editorial process. Of course, that chills me to the bone, but it doesn't surprise me.
What did throw me for a loss was these directors' lack of awareness of the importance of their organization's web page in the modern media world. I told them I had gone to their website to research my presenation and I found it alarmingly lacking in aesthetics and content. At first they seemed confused. Then, they started paying attention. Many of them were dutifully taking notes.
Pontification here is not appropriate, but they got a lesson in fundamentals: Strike up relationships with reporters, not their bosses. The reporters pitch stories. Return their calls personally and in a timely fashion. Do not refer them to corporate headquarters. Make it easy for them to do the story. Cooperate, help them with some research and don't throw up any obstacles.
The presentation lasted about a half-hour. I'm no consultant. Maybe I should be. The feedback I got was positive. This organization deserves positive publicity. Maybe its leaders got a nudge in the right direction.
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Posted by Darrell at 6/24/2008