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The Multiple Publicist Question

The Multiple Publicist Question

How do you manage several publicists at one time? Some clients are pretty well funded. Others simply seek to get the job done and the publicist they hire, doesn’t do everything they want or need done. How do clients handle this?

I have never really before had a conflict while working with a client who has multiple PR people on a project. I’ve worked with big firms and other specialty publicists. It happens a lot with several of the big name publishers. When I work with HCI and Thomas Nelson, for example, they always has one or more big PR firms working, plus an internal publicist, and they hire me to do what I do best all at the same time. It seems that we all do different things.

When any of us gets a fish nibbling on the line, the trick then is to reel them in and get them in the net. Even when a media receives proposals from two or more different people, they will usually call up the one that strikes their fancy and not both. I’ve never been asked “who’s in charge”, since the client really is. The key is to get the right content to the media from the right person (THE CLIENT) so that the media gets what they need to do the job we want done, and the coverage we all hope for is indeed achieved. There are so many media people, we rarely even hit the same people from one day to the next. THE CLIENT needs to be engaged to fully integrate things at the top and on the way across the finish line, especially on the big plays. The publicists need access to the clients schedule for interviews, and answers to key questions, and they need to respond appropriately and fast. Media will not wait very long, and the window of opportunity closes unless they get what they need.

My specialty is my copywriting (which focuses on the content we offer to media for publication and interviews) and how I target, reach and interact with the right media, project by project. I create my own targeted media lists, transmit and make selected phone calls. The goal is to get reviews, feature stories, and interviews. We try to get as many as we can and of the best quality. Results vary. I typically go beyond the book seeking to get galvanizing feature stories that strike wide interest. These types of dialogs outsell book reviews by far. So even when we pitch one thing, we offer media the opportunity to do it their way. This creates new ideas and opens the doors to content development that pushes us into new areas of intellectual pursuit.

Other PR people come up with different content, proposals, and media lists. They will more or less stay within the confines of the core content associated with the book. Some PR people have better success within a certain genre of literature, certain types of products, a certain category of media, or industry, or blogs, or social media, or other types of Internet media, while others develop radio and TV better, and others focus only on top tv. You may not know till you see where people strike a chord and achieve success. Costs and what people actually do also varies significantly.

The client and the PR people should be introduced by phone or email and the methods or media coverage plans should be shared, since it helps to communicate openly. It’s helpful for all those involved to know a little about what others on the team are doing. I am happy to share always. But it’s really not necessary to force a detailed involved coordination to try to create a dominant/subservient competitive system, since it’s not helpful towards the achievement of success. You just need to hire people, delegate a job to them, get out of their way, and let them do what they are best at.

The crucial thing is to stay connected to those who are pitching so you learn what works, and then pass the word once you learn what chord to strike back to everyone, so that the whole level of effectiveness rises.

When you learn what works, then you do more of it, and you stop doing what doesn’t work.

The cost of a publicist covers the actions needed to produce the results you want. There are lots of options for someone who needs publicity to consider from doing it yourself all the way to simply hiring someone to do it all for you. The choices range in cost from as low as the cost of acquiring a custom database all the way to hiring a full service PR, firm, or a pay-for-performance firm, all the way to hiring an in-house publicist.

Now I operate a task based service that allows people to select and deploy the simplest and most intelligent actions. For most authors and publishers this is a one-time project that involves identifying the target audience, figuring out how to galvanize them, crafting one or more news releases, creating the right custom media list to present this message to the maximum number of right people, sending them any and all additional materials the media then needs to do their job, and then calling them to persuade media who have not decided to do what you are hoping for to try to persuade them to give you the publicity and media coverage you seek.

Other publicists and PR firms do similar actions and charge more and less to do these things. But there are many different types of fee arrangements by which can acquire publicity services. You should study the differences when you make your decision and do so recognizing specifically what you will get for the money you pay.

Here’s a link to an article I wrote titled:

“Evaluating the Range of Publicity Tactics and Publicity Options”

There’s a second article that talks about how to get the most out of whichever type of publicity service you choose titled:

“Super Client! Getting the Most Out of Your Publicists and Copywriters”.

Hope this helps. Questions anyone?

Posted on Sunday, August 7th, 2011 at 1:34 pm In
action, action planning, copywriting, publicist, publicity campaign, publicity planning