The NY Times Acknowledges PR Done Well (or "well done")

The NY Times is running a profile of John Besh, a chef and restauranteur from New Orleans. The profile focuses on the growth of his businesses since Hurricane Katrina and how he used the disaster as an opportunity.

The nice little hug for PR comes right in the middle. I’ve pasted that section below. The complete article is here and it demonstrates the value PR can bring in building a business and building a brand. Great positioning also for his PR counsel, Simone Rathle.

“As he and his partner, Octavio Mantilla, began to rebuild, Simone Rathlé, a longtime friend in the public relations business Mr. Besh hired when he opened August six years ago, went to work.

“He was like numb and just freaked out,” she said. “He owned this restaurant and owed a lot of money. He was doing things for survival. He needed to pay his bills and I needed to promote him to get people to go to his restaurant to help him to pay his bills.”

She flew him to fund-raisers and put him in front of any journalist she could think of. Soon Mr. Besh was leaning into the role as spokesman for New Orleans like a politician with a cause. Even today, whether he’s cooking at a charity event, shooting a holiday magazine spread or appearing on television, he stays on message.”


Chris Anderson Publishes Emails of Blacklisted PR People

Chris Anderson has had enough. Enough of getting unpersonalized, un-targeted, completely useless to him emails from PR people.

So he’s posted the emails of people who have sent him poorly directed pitches over the past month. The list is long. The most painful thing is when you see multiple people from the same firm. This shows there’s a lack of communication at the firm as well as a culture of spamming media lists.

The cause of this, PR people that email a release to a complete list taken from a database such as MediaMap/Cision or BurrellesLuce.

Do media databases serve a valid purpose? No question they do. They can be incredibly useful tools to help identify the right person who may be interested in your news.

Or, they can be tools for lazy people to ‘blast’ emails to as many people as possible with the hope that some will stick.

I’m reminded of the quote from “The Godfather” where Don Corleone says “A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns.”

Be smart. You’ll be a lot more successful than the person with biggest gun (or list).

Alan Weinkrantz Shows the Payoff from Patience

Alan Weinkrantz PR Web Log: From Pitch to Feature Story in CIO Magazine:

Nine Months. That’s the timeline from pitch to publication that Alan Weinkrantz outlines below. When we’re working with startup companies they often are reluctant to sign a year contract. They want 3-4, maybe 6 months. The thing is we always seems to be hitting our stride once we’re nearing the end of the contract. We need to figure out a way to make startups more comfortable with longer contracts.

Read what Alan has to say. I’ve pasted most of it below but click the link above and add him to your regular reads. The man knows from what he speaks.

“From Pitch to Feature Story in CIO Magazine Picture_5_2 Last February, we made a pitch to CIO Magazine for client, Alsbridge. The basic premise of our pitch was that what was lacking in the outsourcing business was innovation. The result? Alsbridge was a major part of a feature story on the subject of innovation in outsourcing. We provided the publication with research, made on-going story pitches supporting our thesis, and backed it up with the results of a survey of 300 buyers of IT services. The findings of the survey showed that the biggest gap between outsourcing benefits sought and achieved, had to do with innovation. The same research found that suppliers themselves say that their inability to innovate to client requirements is their biggest challenge. While features are great, and certainly help validate that company’s role as a thought leader, you have to remember that because of competition for mind share, media noise level and the volume of pitches that journalists receive, the cycle from a pitch to having your idea being seen in print can be anywhere from three to twelve months.

In this case, we began the dialog in February and the piece appeared in October. That’s a total of nine months from seeing the germ of an idea to being a reality in print.

I can only advise you to be patient, be persistent, and manage your expectations. Not all of our pitches stick, but when they do, the results can be rewarding.”

A leap of faith

“A leap of faith.” That’s what Jeff Davis, a colleague from my days at Alexander Communications is calling his new experiment in billing clients. Food Fete, his current company focuses on PR for gourmet food companies. He is also going to try something new and have companies pay him what they think the results they receive are worth. This will be for a new idea called, “The PR Experiment (I don’t know the final name).”

Jeff is a very smart guy. He knows PR, and he knows food. The full plan is outlined at

This could be very cool. I’m all for people shaking up the status quo and finding new ways to provide value to clients while still being able to make money. We’ve got our own test out there with our “Quick Call Retainer.

Good luck Jeff!