Monday, November 05, 2007

Presto Vivace PR, compare and contrast

Things Turn Ugly in the ‘Hacks vs. Flacks’ War
Journalists often call publicists “flacks” and publicists call journalists “hacks,” though rarely in earshot of one another. But the gloves came off last week after Chris Anderson, the executive editor of Wired magazine, chided “lazy flacks” who deluge him with news releases “because they can’t be bothered to find out who on my staff, if anyone, might actually be interested in what they’re pitching.”

“I’ve had it,” Mr. Anderson wrote on his blog on Oct. 29. “I get more than 300 e-mails a day and my problem isn’t spam. ... it’s P.R. people.”

After picking the fight, he then made it personal, posting the addresses of 329 unsolicited e-mail messages he had received and telling the senders that he had permanently blocked them.

Every year or so I do an unscientific survey of reporters and editors from the government trade press to see which PR firms are most respected and most helpful to both their clients and the publications. I email people I work with in the press and simply ask their opinion and I guarantee their anonymity.

There were no big standouts (no company with more than 2 votes). The best recommendations in terms of how the reporter or editor referenced a PR firm were for Alice Marshall (PrestoVivace; one reporter called her the best he had worked with) and Evan Weisel (W2 Communications, one reporter noted he does lots for his clients and adds actual value for the trade press). Other reporters just sent lists, or had shorter comments. And while I did not ask for it, a few gave me negative feedback. Instead of sharing the negative, I simply took a point away from the company referenced.

Making the cut (alphabetical: Advice Unlimited, Alice Marshall/PrestoVivace, BrainBox, Borenstein, Boscobel, Fleishman Hillard, Hosky Inc, Larkin and Associates, OKeeffe, Strategic Communications, and Welz and Weisel.

Here at Presto Vivace we cannot guarantee to place your story, but we can guarantee that the editor will open our emails and give your pitch serious consideration.

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