Flak Attack

If it’s in the news, the Flak attacks!

Posts Tagged ‘reporting

Hey reporters, call me. Please?

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If you consider what flacks like me do for a living, it’s a viable question.

We spend hours noodling on that finely crafted pitch, attempting to personalize it with a back story and customize it with our own sense of dazzling wit. And then, as we hold our breath and squint out of one eye, we hit “send” and off it goes… will it return, who really knows?

I know odds are not good we get that return call, but what’s a flack to do? Quit? Stop trying? Anything?

Plenty, based on this brilliant read from “The Bad Pitch Blog.” It seems I’m not alone with my discombobulated woes.

Probably my former GM. His other car said "Move the Needle".

Probably my former GM. His other car said "SYNERGY".

According to the sage authors here, the reason media types don’t call us back is because most of “us” aren’t answering the effin’ phone. And why?

Too much of a good thing, in this PR practitioner’s opinion?

Think about it. We have a voice mail at work and on the cell. Some have an e-leash… sorry, a Blackberry. And now, there’s our LinkedIn and Twitter accounts.

All those meetings. All those clients. And then, some adoring member of the media has the nerve to return your message.

Sure, you screen your calls. Who doesn’t? But if you aren’t holding true to a 24-hour return call policy, you need to consider a new line of work. I don’t know, like Toll Booth Operator.

You see, most spin doctors I know who don’t return calls are the type to pitch at 6:00 p.m. and file the report, “Called but no return message.”

It’s the personal interaction that scares the bejesus out of some in this vocation. To which, I say get over it. It’s in the job description.

Sure after-hour calls, e-mails, tweets and an impersonal LinkedIn message is contact, but all hail the days when all we had were phones and those antiquated answering machines.

These days, hitting “7” ad-nauseum is so much easier to clear your calendar for that new business tee time, isn’t it?

Listen, if you are one of these media habitues who live on Caller ID, consider the economy, answer the phone and who knows… you may enjoy the interaction. Just a thought.

Newspapers only wish they could print cash too

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So, eh, breaking news? Newspapers are closing their printing presses everywhere.

It’s not they are running out of ink or stories, just money. And so, publishers have been hurling their heads into their desks trying to figure a way out of this Internet mess.

Online NewsThen, without fail, faster than a speeding IRS agent, more powerful than a local blog and able to leap tall requests with a single check… here comes the U.S. Government, thanks to HuffPo.

Yeah, yeah. Get your barf bags ready and let’s say those two magical words together, “Bail. Out.”

Hosted by Sen. John Kerry, some of this country’s most influential publishers caucused on Capitol Hill with shades, a cane and a dirty coffee mug in-hand awaiting a hand out.

Among the blinder, publishing magnates were  James Moroney from the beleaguered Dallas Morning News, who claimed a “quasi property right” over facts that were being used for “commercial gain,” not by readers but by “someone else.”

Yeah, that’s called public information once it’s online, so I’m fairly sure that “someone else” would be every person who regretfully isn’t interested in buying a paper to see the advertisinguh, read the stories first-hand.

Why Kerry? Among the near-dearly-departed who be his beloved Boston Globe. So his impartial and unbiased interest in saving that paper is about as transparent as Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan being interested in the goings on of the automotive industry.

Ah, politics.

Now, Kerry and the gaggle of civil servants who gathered are looking into a proposal to steer around labeling it as a bailout – allowing papers become non-profit entities.

I wonder which of those former-writers-gone-publishers was responsible for that ironic twist. Hrm.

The Spin View: UK kicks folk out but can’t look within

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Many people in this hallowed profession have secret vices.

Mine? “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.” Although some yawp, “Biased” and others claim “it’s only one side of the story,” the items Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert finds to spin in a dizzy rave is glorious.

And this “Spin View” is no exception.

We have an entire country creating a “Get the eff out” blacklist. People on this list aren’t allowed in England for business, family or even high tea. Why? Basically for being an @$$. Classy.

Jon Stewart noted some hypocrisy by a skosh and took the UK to task. Olay-olay-olay-olay.

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Written by theflak

May 16, 2009 at 9:56 pm

The Spin View: Hail to the Beef

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Quite often, the media has to unplug the teleprompters and go ad-lib [cue your fave scary music here].

Hairs stand up on the back of necks, loud gulps can be heard in the production room and shivers are felt from the anchor’s desk to the receptionist’s area.

Why? Because the college graduates forget all the perfunctory items of reporting and go all “hooked on phonics” with their thinking patterns.

Now, just to add a monkey wrench to the situation, forget the white Bronco doing 120 mph down the highway.

Let’s pretend it’s something so newsworthy that all networks have to consecutively stop down and report. Oh, I don’t know… like the president of the United States ordering his lunch!?

Yeah, I know. Reporting at its best. Let’s forget the 27 million folks looking for a job, health care so unaffordable people are considering a move to Canada and oh yeah, that whole war thing. Enjoy this from “The Daily Show,” which calls B.S. on MSNBC.

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Written by theflak

May 9, 2009 at 12:41 pm