Esther Schindler’s Latest Good Advice

A couple of weeks ago, I jumped in on the ongoing fray/snit/pissing match between media pitchers and pitch-ees. I have been on both sides of the professional fence, but have probably done more agency-based pitching that I have been pitched.

My puzzlement was — and continues to be — why so many bloggers are getting so angry about bad pitches while members of the print media would generally just hang up on you and move on. Maybe it’s just the fact that bloggers can hit back in a very public way, whereas members of the print media are more constrained because they have to be. I suppose that the editor at Business Week can’t write an article about all of the terrible pitches he’s gotten.

So when I first blogged about the topic, I quoted Esther Schindler’s “Care and Feeding of the Press,” a funny, acerbic and dead-on analysis of how to communicate with members of the media. My contention was, and continues to be, that if you get it right offline, for the post part, you’ll get it right online.

To my pleasant surprise, Esther found my post and commented on it, and more importantly, let me know what she had updated her thinking in a May 2008 article for CIO entitled “How Social Media’s Changing Public Relations.”

Here are some of my favorite quotes/analogies her updated piece:

…[Twitter] is like entering a noisy, crowded stadium and saying, ‘Is there a doctor in the house?’… The entire stadium quiets to silence and everyone sits down except for four people that raise their hand and say ‘I can help!’… It’s that powerful and can provide a whole new lifeline of resources to draw from….

…For example, it doesn’t work to e-mail thousands of press releases and to hope that three of them land well; why will it work any better to tweet about what a client did or to post it on digg? The stadium with 50,000 baseball fans and including four doctors is happy to step back for one life-threatening emergency, but they’re not going to stay quiet if there are 30 not-really-emergencies during a game.”

More good advice. And Esther, I promise never to send you an unsolicted email with an 8MB attachment.



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