Dont Expect to Bump Oprah From
A Magazine Cover
by Roman Pericon
I want a pony, a tree house and the fastest bike
in the world.
I want the G.I. Joe with the parachute and camouflage
Those wants from when we were children havent changed
much now that we have traded in our play clothes for suits
and ties. When I sit down with clients, I always ask them
what they want out of their publicity campaign so I can
create a realistic list of expectations.
But I usually hear:
Front page of the Wall Street Journal.
I want to sit next to Katie and Matt.
Do you think I could be on Oprah next week?
Before I sign a new client, I make sure I explain editorial
calendars and lead times so they wont ask me Why
havent I gotten placements with you yet? Its
been six days already. I also explain the concept
of newsworthy to them.
But it seems that more often than not, all of that explaining
goes out the door.
Heres The Naked Truth.
Sometimes reporters like big names. Sometimes they like
unknowns. That lifestyle editor at InStyle may love the
handmade candles that you created but if a major crisis
happens in the news (e.g. celebrity breakup, A-list star
caught with a call girl, paparazzi caught impromptu wedding)
then you can bet your wick and scented oils the focus
of their article wont be on your candles. Same goes
for almost every magazine you want to target unless you
are Oprah, Bill Gates or the president of the U.S.
not Trixies Organic Dog Snacks. So dont blame
your publicist if your story is axed or postponed. They
will try another publication.
Theres a great big world out there. Newsweek reaches
over 3 million homes each week. They receive enough trash
worthy press releases and media kits to fill a broom closet.
Sometimes what you think is news
you just have to trust your publicist to alert the media
when something of interest is happening with your company.
Or you run the risk of an editor never taking your releases
seriously when you do.
Understand your target market. I know you think it would
be the coolest thing since Nobu Next Door to be on the
cover of Cosmo but you sell a high-end baby stroller.
Cosmo readers dont have an interest in that. Trust
me. They wont and the editors dont have time
to wade through releases of no interest to their readers.
Publicists know the publications target audience
and with the help of editorial calendars, they can figure
out if you will fit in a certain issue they are preparing.
So dont get upset when your publicist tells you
they got you into a different publication because the
one you wanted said NO to your story over
10 times. When they just arent interested, publicists
Sometimes the more is not the merrier. Just because we
have an editor contact database of thousands doesnt
mean each of them should receive your press release or
an invitation to your launch party. It might sound great
to you to say Our company press release just went
out to over 10,000 editors but if they arent
targeted to the right editors they will only end up in
the recycling bin. Im positive Janice Huff at Channel
4 doesnt care about your gelato shop. She only covers
When its time for your company to retain a public
relations firm, remember to have realistic expectations.
Your publicists know what publications are good targets
and they know that providing you with the results you
want is going to make you happy. And all publicists want
to make their clients happy.
About The Author
Roman Pericon is the CEO of NakedPR (www.NakedPublicity.com),
a public relations and event planning firm in New York.
Subscribe to The Naked Truth, his free monthly
PR newsletter, by emailing Roman@NakedPublicity.com. NakedPR
specializes in entertainment and lifestyle clients.