Flak Attack

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

Posts Tagged ‘research

New publishing efforts are all Greek to me

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Magazines are vanishing from the public almost as fast as Jon & Kate’s relevance. And to keep the printing presses as hot as the aforementioned couple’s divorce proceedings, publishers are looking under their pillows for that one wadded-up idea hiding in the pillows.

The Meredith Corporation, home of many magazines routinely seen in my mailbox (Hi baby), has found one such idea that dates back to antiquity. No, really. Like Ancient Greece.

New cheesy pick-up line: "Whew. Look at those Gammas."

New cheesy pick-up line: "Whew. Look at those Gammas."

Recently, the world was introduced to a new kind of radioactive woman – the Gamma Women, who are influential and well-connected women who love to network.

More than 55 million of them evidently read their gaggle of magazines, so why not create a report about the third letter in the Greek alphabet?

Thanks to this story from PR Newser, we have a quote from Nancy Weber, Meredith’s CMO:

Since we released the Gamma report last year, we’ve received an overwhelming response from marketers and advertisers. The current economic environment has caused brands to reevaluate where they spend their marketing and advertising dollars and seek opportunities that reach highly engaged consumers at great scale.”

So, Gamma women buy wisely, as opposed to Alpha males who just walk into a local Border’s and duke it out or pee all over the magazine rack to mark their territory. You learn something new every day.

Only one thought from the married section of the cheap seats: whatever you do Meredith Corp., please – for the love of God – don’t use the Gamma in its lowercase form.

Originally, this formation of the symbol was used in engineering mechanics and refers to specific weight.

I don’t know about most women, but the ladies in my life wouldn’t be that crazy about having their weight published across the country in the interest of a quick buck. Just sayin’.

Written by theflak

July 26, 2009 at 8:00 am

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.

The Media Gets Wiki-Punked

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Wiki-ped-i-DUHWith the advent of this Internet thingy, more and more people are relying less and less on common sense and due diligence. They don’t research anymore.

Rather, at the last minute, they logon and frantically search for a Cliff’s Notes version of whatever it is that has them trolling Google pages 30 – 35 at 3 a.m.

Long gone are the days of the door-to-door Encyclopedia Britannica salesman. Today, it’s Wikipedia or bust.

The only problem with that is history is not the determining factor, people and their often misled opinions are.

How’s that working out? Glad you asked.

Meet Shane Fitzgerald, a 22-year-old sociology and economics student at University College in Dublin.

Shane was looking for a focus group on “the dangers of relying too heavily on the Internet for information.” His group? The world.

Oscar-winning French composer Maurice Jarre died on March 30, and to commemorate his passing, Shane goes to Jarre’s Wikipage and invents a quote that was then used in major newspapers around the world. Nice.

It didn’t take Dr. Zhivago to figure out the ailment – the media got bamboozled because they collectively took a short cut to be the first to get a story out… and on Google.

Whoops.

There is something to be said for that ubiquitous horse’s mouth, even it did belong to a dead movie score composer.

Written by theflak

May 8, 2009 at 11:00 am