I don’t even know where I start to disagree with Michael Lasky

Oh, yes I do, it’s the second sentence of his first answer.  I am talking about a Q& A with Michael Lasky, partner and chair of the Public Relations Law Group of the New York City-based law firm of Davis & Gilbert (www.dglaw.com), a firm specializing in meeting the legal needs of marketing communications companies (from the article).

The Q&A is in “The Firm Voice” a publication of the Council of PR Firms. The premise of the article is that PR firms should legally protect the content and creative they present in speculative pitches.  I disagree with that premise.  Below are just a few examples that I vehemently disagree with.

Article- According to the intro to the article, “The more public relations practitioners act as if their intellectual property is valuable, the greater value it will have — and the more PR firms will be valued for their marketing strategy and expertise.”

My thought – Value comes from results.  Appreciation comes from contribution, not from a perception of scarcity.

Article –“How can a public relations firm best protect its creative ideas and concepts in speculative pitches to potential clients?

There are two general ways. The first is to provide the potential client prior to the pitch with a non-disclosure agreement. This non-disclosure agreement should clearly state that the prospective client will not use or disclose the creative work and ideas of the pitching agency unless and until a mutually-agreeable form of compensation is worked out.”

My thought – This is akin to asking a potential to guarantee the amount of affection they will show before you agree to buy them dinner.  New business pitches are speculative. There is a risk. You need to balance the potential reward before determining if the pitch is worth the risk.

Please read the whole article.  I think the attitudes reflected in this article need to be read.  In fact, I hope that lots of agencies take this advice, it’ll make things a whole lot easier for Morgan/Dorado. Strike that. I don’t want other agencies to take this advice. This thinking sullies my profession. Revised thought. Read it. Learn from it and do good work. Drive fast. Take chances.


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