In the Public Relations business you should always be prepared.
I recently attended the launch of a new automobile dealership which my client, a design/build contractor, had constructed.
A small area newspaper was on hand to take photos and put together an article on the proceedings. These included a ribbon cutting, speeches, live music from the high school band, etc.
I asked the newspaper representative if he would like to interview my client for his article.
Surprisingly he looked at my card and said, “Public Relations, huh? Why don’t you write it!”
I thought he was joking but he was dead serious. He said give him about 400 words, put everything into the proper light and email it in.
A lot of PR professionals may have turned him down, but I jumped at the chance.
I had written dozens of articles and worked in the news and sports new business in an earlier career so I knew the drill. I could also pretty much ensure that the name of my client would appear in the article.
So I quickly put on my reporter’s hat. Fortunately I had enough paper in my coat pocket to document a few interviews.
I raced around the dealership and talked to the local mayor, Honda representative and a few others. I also made sure I had everyone’s name spelled correctly.
It was interesting to note how cooperative everyone is when you say you’re a reporter putting together an article. Of course my goal was just to get a few “feel good” quotes about the whole event. After all this is being placed in a small community newspaper and the auto dealership is a big advertiser. Stll everyone took it seriously.
The Editor who enlisted my services said he would give me a byline.
I put the article together and sent it in. The Editor thought it was well written and indicated there would only be a few minor tweaks.
It comes out tomorrow.
I will attend another construction related event with the same client later this week.
You better believe I’m going to bring a several pens and lots of paper.