PR lessons via old television shows

pr lessons via old television shows
Remember the old television show, Bewitched? Darrin, Samantha’s husband, and his boss Larry worked at the advertising agency McMann & Tate. Actually, worked is a relative term since all they seemed to do was throw around ideas for slogans. In all the years I watched the show, I never saw any characters do market research or graphic design work. According to David Oglivy, the author of Oglivy on Advertising, your ad won’t sell anything if you don’t know who your target market is or if the ad itself isn’t designed well.

What does this have to do with PR? Many people think you have to put on a crazy stunt or be someone famous in order to get the attention of the media. Yes, famous people like Lady Gaga get a lot of ink and crazy stunts sometimes have their place. Still, not everyone can sing while wearing a meat suit and, as for crazy stunts, they can go wrong. Take for example, the WKRP in Cincinnati stunt of tossing turkeys from a helicopter. In case you missed that episode, people at the station learned the hard way that domesticated turkeys can’t fly.

People are looking for information on a myriad of things, from helping their children do better in school to finding out the latest about healthcare reform. If you have information on how parents can help their children do better in school or what healthcare reform means to the average person, believe it or not, members of the media may want to talk to you.

The best way to get the media to talk to you is to be an expert on a timely topic in the news, or to have a local tie to a piece of local, national or international news. No singing and dancing while wearing a suit of filet mignon. No taking flightless birds and tossing them from great heights to see if they can “remember” to fly. You just need to have a hook or an angle that will grab a reporter or editor’s attention and be able to explain it in easy to understand language. Offering tips and recommendations are also helpful to media outlets. If you can provide tips for unique ways to help your children do better in school, or how to navigate the uncertainties of healthcare reform, that can be of interest to a news outlet.

These are some of the things to think about if you would like to get media coverage and you don’t even have to wiggle your nose – not that there is anything wrong with that.