Today, the U.S. Supreme Court rules on President Obama’s controversial healthcare reform. And Attorney General Eric Holder could be held in contempt of Congress. Both issues have politicians crossing party lines. Emotions and accusations are flying.
Then factor in the Colorado fires and Tropical Storm Debby. Oh, and Ann Curry is reportedly leaving her post at NBC today. To boot, Robbie from “My Three Sons” has died. And it’s only Thursday.
Any PR rep worth their salt knows that unless they can clearly connect their client to any of these big stories (minus Robbie), with a NEW and fresh angle that’s not self-serving, they must step aside.
Don’t even bother trying to get someone’s attention in a newsroom. Why?
- Your reputation will be shot to hell and reporters will remember you for a long, long time. And not in a good way. Pitching a routine story that’s not linked to any of the breaking news we expect today makes you more than a newsroom pest.
- Most reporters routinely consider PR people “interruptions” as they try to get their work done and meet deadlines. When pitching a self-serving story that fails to connect with today’s bigger picture, you are cementing the fact that you’re clueless about newsroom culture and the unpredictable cycles of breaking and developing news.
- There are live and taped feeds, freshening up new details, video, sound bites, press conferences, rumors and major deadlines. Stand clear and allow the reporters to deal with the dog-and-pony shows on Capitol Hill.
And who knows what else can happen in the midst of the healthcare ruling and the horrific fires? A crazed shooter in a shopping mall, a plane crash, a deranged kidnapping. Greece wins the lottery? Maybe even a nice story will surface.
Allow the dust to settle, reactions to come in, and post-interviews to be conducted. Your turn will come.
In the aftermath, you may discover one of your clients does indeed have a direct link to a new development and would be a strong source for a follow-up. The fall-out from these stories will linger for many days and months to come. This is your time to get creative. Watch closely and know when to act.
For today, do some research, write a blog post, close a sale, network, and clean up outdated computer files.
Translation: This can save your esteemed reputation.
Try explaining that to a client…