A Resolution for 2013

There are plenty of reasons to make resolutions, and just as many reasons to break them.  In general, I hate resolutions because they never work.  They’re made in haste, at a time when we’re already pushed to the limits with obligations and responsibilities.

However, as we close out another business year here at Trevelino Keller we are taking the time to look back at some of our successes and where we have a little bit of room for improvement.  We are closing out a record year and moving in to our 10th anniversary as an agency.  We know we’re good.  In fact we’re great.   But I am still going to go out there and make a little professional resolution for myself and the rest of the agency.

Some background:  Earlier this year we rolled out our values to our growing staff.    They’re short, simple and totally do-able. My current role in the agency, both now and in my previous incarnation (pre-baby #3) is as a media specialist.  It’s a chance to try to live up to all of these values.  Personally, speaking it’s great to have a niche, to work with teams and clients to develop fresh pitch angles, create relationships that have value with key journalists and bloggers, and ultimately secure placements for our clients.  In summary:  Measure Up.

But it’s a tough market.   PR people out number journalists at least 4:1.  Even if you have the right content, at the right time and possibly the ear of your target journalist it doesn’t always turn in to the measureable result you’d like to see.

So my resolution is going to take in to account ALL of the above values and will start with some well-placed phone calls.  Yes, the phone. It’s a documented pet-peeve for many journalist to receive a poorly-timed and unnecessary follow up call.   But does it mean to never pick up the phone?   We’ve moved so far in our evolution of all on-line pitches that the opportunities for a phone call have fallen by the wayside.

In an attempt to get an idea of how well received phone pitches are from media I came across some pretty good stuff.  I laughed out loud when I read some of the quotes in this blog post.   Specifically this quote from an education reporter at U.S. News and World report:  “If someone ever tracks down a reporter who prefers phone pitches to emails, it’d be worth creating a low-budget film documenting that person’s biography. (Perhaps she or he is based in a very small town somewhere, with poor Internet access? Or in a different century?).”     Or this one from a Huffington Post editor who suggests you NEVER call a journalist.  Tough words.

These types of statements can put fear in the heart of even the most seasoned PR specialist.   That said, there IS a time and a place for the phone (and conversely a time to hang it up).   What type of feedback and opportunities are we missing when we stop at online communication only?  Here at Trevelino Keller we will use our years of experience, flexible team models and the ability to live the values we wrote earlier this year to get over that fear.    You’ll never see someone just dialing-for-dollars on a press release but on any given day you’ll hear a few smartly placed phone calls to those contacts that we know could possibly use what we’ve got on the other end of the line.     We’ll follow the do’s and don’ts that are well documented everywhere.  We already know this but it’s time to live it.

That is my resolution for a success-filled 2013.   Measure Up.  What’s yours?

By, Lauren Shankman

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