he industry experts at Muck Rack regularly ask us to weigh in on media trends and offer advice on what it takes to secure editorial in the evolving media climate.

To ensure success, we develop our programs using a media-first perspective. To learn what that is, click the link.


We've posted before about what journalists want from PR people here. 

PRNewser recently published a great post on the topic and we thought we'd share, without any commentary (which is very hard for PR people to do ;-).San Diego Public Relations TipsWant More tips? Give us a call or drop us a line at PRCheckup@Remedypr.com


Bigger is often not better in PR. How do you measure the results of a PR campaign?

Number of placements? Impression numbers? If that's not how we measure the effectiveness of an ad, why do we translate advertising equivalencies to public relations campaigns?

One of our agency directors was just featured by Bulldog Reporter in an article on the dicey topic of measurement.

You can read all about it here.

If you like this post, please share it on LinkedIn. And let us know so we can thank you later!

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The Two Reasons Journalists Don't Like PR People

Dear Journalist Friends,

We're sorry. We hope this is enlightening as to why some PR people act the way they do.

Dear Friends At Brands,

If you don’t know what we're talking about, you need to read this.

A quick search of Facebook groups, industry scripture, along with Twitter and assorted other forums, will turn up instances where our colleagues, and possibly even ourselves (but doubtful ;-), have rubbed a few of you the wrong way.

And lest we forget that time Chris Anderson from Wired Magazine put some of the biggest PR firms in our world on blast way back when.

Let’s get back to our media industry clickbait-esque headline.

Journalists, do you know the reason you hate (some of) us? 

If we had to read your mind, it would be the nauseating amount of irrelevant pitches you receive and the annoying follow-up calls that come five minutes after we send them are likely culprits.

But do you know why we actually do this?

There are two main reasons PR people push too hard, often in the wrong direction, when it comes to dealing with journalists. It’s a systemic issue that many firms won’t want to address.

Reason 1: PR plans are developed and pitched to clients by senior agency leadership teams who are out of touch

The senior ranks of many agencies are led by people who no longer engage directly in media relations, resulting in grossly inflated expectations stemming from plans based on archaic thinking. They haven’t reached out to a journalist in years. They’re not in the trenches regularly communicating with our friends on the editorial side.

As a result, plans are developed based on outdated knowledge and experience.

Touchdowns help to win football games, but the style of play has significantly evolved over the years. As an easy example, we're often told by clients and industry colleagues that <<brand / product / event>> would be perfect for Maxim. They’re usually right…if this were 2001. They haven’t opened the mag or looked at Maxim’s site or magazine in years. Its content has evolved. Are there avenues for the pitch they have in mind? Possibly, but the lack of direct media interaction and knowledge of the current media climate steers plan development in the wrong direction.

A good PR person pushes back on clients and internal stakeholders as appropriate. Despite being experts, when we do push back a bit, the response is often that we must not have strong enough relationships with the media we’re targeting. And if that’s the perception, we could lose the account or our jobs.

While good PR pros know that landing killer media coverage takes a lot more than strong relationships, none of us want to lose our jobs. So we push on and follow orders.

Reason 2: There is a lack of trust in PR teams and understanding of how long it can take for a journalist to show interest, let alone file a story.

That is our only explanation for the following, very common, scenario.

Click for video.

Sometimes agencies are expected to have boiler room-esqueoperations. In addition to update reports, PR firms are often asked by clients to provide call logs for review. This was asked of me at big agencies and later after co-founding Remedy PR. Detailed records of who we contacted, when and their response.

The result of that is intense pressure on the PR agency to tangibly show how our time is spent, even showing how our time is actually spent is not the best use of our time or the budget of our partners.

Do we keep logs? Yes, most agencies do. Some people keep pretty detailed notes. I can tell you where one editor’s significant other went to school, who refs hockey as a passion side-job, and who dislikes a certain feature on a certain type of product.

Our notes aren’t always appropriate to share with our partners, and sometimes we’ll reach out to a journalist about multiple brands, or maintain lists that are relevant to multiple client partners. When that’s the case, if a client wants a call log, we’re often spending extra time drafting something that is specific for them. Not the best use of our time.

And this doesn’t take into account the time spent researching media and refining pitches so they make sense to that Tier-A journalist you want to be interested in your story.

The misunderstanding of how much time things can take is where things take a major turn for the worse, not just for us on the PR side, but you, our friends on the editorial end.

PR people grossly outnumber journalists (6:1 according to some), and some receive hundreds of emails a day, a large part of them irrelevant. These stats get worse when the journalist writes for a high-profile media outlet or is an influencer (define that as you will). This makes it critical for those of us on our side of the desk to follow-up (sorry, we know you hate that) when we have a good pitch for you (we really do!) that may have buried in the previously mentioned hundreds of emails you’re receiving.

Giving a journalist time to get through their inbox and run something through the chain of command doesn’t make for a strong call log for our clients.

Again, the call log doesn’t account for the time we should be spending on strategy, or looking at a journalist’s coverage, tweets, etc., to get a handle for what they could be into in terms of potential story ideas.

We find it strange that many don’t grasp that even a response, let alone action, by a journalist, can take some time.

Most of us probably have friends and family members who may not to respond to a text message or email for days, if not weeks. If it’s not urgent and doesn’t require an immediate response, you probably don’t text someone every other day to check in. That would be annoying.

So why do we expect a journalist to get back to us right away?

Journalists aren't public servants. They’re not firefighters – waiting and obligated – to rush out when the call comes in.

Unfortunately, the pressure some of us receive to generate these logs is the reason for the incessant follow-up.

If you didn’t get back to us on Tuesday, we need to call you Thursday and email again the following Friday to ask if you received our last email and call. And then we send a DM on Instagram.

So we smile, and dial (or the modern equivalent of that), and log every call for review later.

What’s the fix?

There are ways we can around these issues in PR. There are paths we can take that will get brands and PR teams on the radar of the media, and strengthen the relationships between journalists, PR people, and the brands they represent.

We need to change our thinking a bit, and we’ll get into that soon.

This article was originally posted on MuckRack.




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public relations mistakes



It’s tax time and as our collective team prepares their own personal taxes, we wanted to share some strong similarities between planning for tax time and launching a public relations or social media campaign.

1. Choose the right tax provider based on your budget and situation.

Some people have straightforward taxes that can easily be prepared through one of the tax software tools available for purchase.

Perhaps you don’t need an outside PR resource. You may be fine purchasing a media list online, distributing it through one of the available free or paid newswires and then having your internal marketing team make follow-up calls on their own.

Or, you may need a team of two… or 20, to help you.

Look at your brand's individual needs and choose support accordingly. Don’t get hung-up on who a brand has worked with before so much as the results they’ve delivered for brands with a similar cache’ or budget close to yours.

Bill was interviewed on this topic recently, but in essence, ask yourself ‘is your brand the iPhone of your industry?’

Look for the firms that have worked with brands that have less media appeal than yours or have done more with fewer resources. Ask for examples of unique placements and executions that also fit within your budget.

You can see the entire interview on Malakye’s website at here.

2. Get organized early.

If you show up at your accountant’s office on April 14 with a box of receipts and statements, well…

Your accountant may know you’ll be coming in that day, but without knowing all of your financial details from the last year, you’re leaving them in a very difficult situation. Things may get missed.

The same thing happens all the time to PR firms when being approached by potential clients. Public relations firms frequently receive requests for meetings or for custom proposals within a week’s time, usually without adequate documentation as to what it is they’re really looking for, an accurate timeline and estimated budget.

Providing details well in advance allows the PR firms you’re looking at will have ample time to put their best foot forward and you’ll have a chance to kick the tires on them as well.

Last minute requests tend to receive work that is often rushed and often flawed. If you tell a PR firm today you need a proposal for a six-month plan next week, what does that say about your own team’s internal planning?

Similarly, the sooner you start a project, the more time you have to adjust if things don’t go as expected.

Remember, timing is a huge part of securing editorial coverage for your brand.

3. You hired experts for a reason.

If you think you can do your taxes better than a professional tax preparer, then why did you hire them in the first place?

Similarly, treat your public relations firm, consultant or that ‘marketing ninja’ you found on LinkedIn,as a part of your team and trust in their opinion. It’s their job to create programs and strategies that work for editorial coverage.

Would you like to chat about this more? Feel free to drop us a line or take our PR Check-up to gauge the health of your own brand’s marketing efforts.

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When one door closes, a good PR team will dig you a hole for your message to crawl through. Or find you more doors. Or pry open some windows... you get it ;-).
That said, brands are often disappointed when they don't see themselves featured in certain media outlets. While this could happen for a variety of reasons (timing and lack of real newsworthiness being the top two), there's one reason that few want to admit, but it happens all the time.

Sometimes journalists simply don't like certain brands.  

Since we work in the tech world, we often deal with tech media, from the consumery oriented (that's a word, trust us)  mainstream outlets to the influencers/mavens/tastemakers/other-hot-buzzword journalists and outlets that focus on the latest and greatest before it's even available.
Lately we've been working with LockerGnome on some features and tin the below video, they called out BlackBerry. Specifically, they called out that they may not review a particular BlackBerry device.
Skip to about 5:10 to get a handle on what we're referencing.

Perhaps LockerGnome is just trying to get a rise out of their BlackBerry using audience. Or maybe they're serious and just aren't into the new releases from the brand.
Unfortunately, this is a reality in PR and media relations - sometimes the media just aren't into your product or story.
This is one of the reasons we (and other reputable PR practitioners) will tell you clients in the upfront that coverage is not guaranteed. We have a pretty good relationship with LockerGnome, but we can't dictate their coverage or coverage tone. Any firm that guarantees you visibility for your retainer (without a money-back guarantee) is either lying or selling you advertising.

But again, a good PR team (or consultant, etc.) can work around this. If you can't land that one Tier-A placement this time, they should be able to help you evaluate why for the next go, and in the meantime, work to secure coverage in 10 Tier-B outlets to supplement. It takes more to do less in the PR / media relations world, and anyone who sets their hopes on one placement is setting themselves up for disappointment.

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Note: This post was originally published in 2013 and LockerGnome is on hiatus. However, the message and learnings remain the same.

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CES, KBIS, Surf Expo, the National Association of Mortgage Bankers Annual (aka NAMB), Outdoor Retailer... we've done them all at one time or another.

We've worked with brands launching everything from Internet refrigerators to medical devices to craft beer. While each client has had their own success, last week was a banner moment for the team here at Remedy PR.

In January 2018, the first ever Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show took place in Denver. It was the first time that the SIA Snow Show and Outdoor Retailer Show were combined. With 1,000 brands competing for the attention of nearly 30,000 journalists, retail buyers and industry experts across three levels of the Colorado convention center, we can tell you it was a little hectic.

We knew in advance that two of our clients had true innovations coming out at the show. We also knew that their much-larger competitors would be competing for the same attention. The team recommended unique strategies for each brand that included a mix of old school and skunkworks PR strategies and we're happy to say that both 686 and SPY won big.

Our press release on the win is below, but you can also download it here. If you're interested in the steps our clients took that allowed us to be so successful, well, those secrets are on our blog here.

Want to connect with the Remedy Team? You can reach us at PRCheckup@RemedyPR.com.

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Remedy Public Relations is the leading lifestyle firm in San Diego for companies in the surf, snowboard, ski, motocross, finance, and consumer electronics industry. We know PR. We know social media. If your PR team is falling short, you may need a remedy!

Modified San Diego's Best PR Firm Trade Show_edited-1It’s that time of year… we’re gearing up for CES, the OR Snow Show and more. Are you ready? If not, here are some quick and essential tips to help you make the most of your media relations efforts at the shows.

1. Start yesterday!: These shows are important to EVERYONE exhibiting. Almost every journalist attending will receive 100’s of emails from brands pitching the mundane and the monumental. Be top of mind by being top of mind well in advance. Make sure you engage with these journalists in advance, via social media, email or even a phone call or handwritten note, regardless of if you have something to pitch at the time or not. It’ll pay off later.

2. Have a survival kit ready.: Come loaded for bear. A battery pack for your phone should be standard issue. Images / info saved somewhere easily accessible so you can send it at a moments notice. Breath mints and snack bars you can carry are a must, as well as good insoles for your shoes. If you have oily skin (ahem) maybe some of those anti-shine wipes too #justsaying

3. Show your good side!: You may not see these journalists very often. When you confirm meetings, send them a casual (yet professional enough) photo and go the extra mile in drawing on the show map exactly where your meeting will take place.

4. Concise is nice.: Get to the point in your pitch. What are you showing that’s really great? If you have 10 great things, highlight the top two and then include a quick note of what else is coming. And be realistic in what you’re pitching… make sure your pitch passes the smell test.

And lay off the jargon and buzzwords… no one wants to hear that.

5. All hands on deck!!!: We like to have approximately 1.5 people per booth / brand at a show. Why? Well, inevitably, appointments will be shifted on the fly or last minute needs will come up. You want to give each contact as much individual attention as possible.

6. Pretend you care.: Or better yet… care! Lead each meeting by asking each contact if they’ve seen anything they loved at the show or ask about any trends catching their eye. Then shift your pitch and meeting accordingly.

7. Follow-up accordingly!: Some people may want info and images within the hour. Some the week after. Make a note and act appropriately.

8. Repeat step 1!!!

There’s a lot more to media relations than the above, but trust us… even though these tips seem basic, many brands and marketing professionals overlook them as the hecticness of the show approaches.

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Talkin' Turkey.... And Public RelationsButterball Screen Shot Turkey Chicago Tribune1

You don't have to be the best to score media coverage.

And you don't need to be the most innovative or the market leader, although in the case of Butterball, name recognition helps.

One of the country's top producing poultry brands wins big by repurposing questions that come into their help line for some fun content at a time when interest in turkey is at a yearly high.

Well done Butterball, well done!

One piece they netted (in the Chicago Tribune, no less) as a result of the campaign below, but if you search online, you'll find a lot more out there.

10 weirdest turkey questions posed to Butterball hotline - Chicago Tribune

10 weirdest turkey questions posed to Butterball hotline - Chicago Tribune copy


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The public relations industry is rife with brands generating press releases that are, at best, fluff, and at worst... well, they're just bad.

Either they're poorly written, written for the wrong audience or simply lack merit.

A recent piece on MuckRack (disclosure, it was written by one of our agency directors) focuses on this.

You can find it below or on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/do-you-believe-your-own-pr-three-tips-ensure-news-actually-bill-byrne

And if you like it, please share it on LinkedIn too!

Remedy Communications Do You Believe Your Own PR MuckRack San Diego


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