I can’t agree more with this statement, “Timing is Everything.” And I found out how true that quote is first hand when I was recently faced with pitching the U.S. media before, during and after Hurricane Sandy.
The only other time that I have ever had to put my “job” on hold before was for 9/11. I mean that catastrophe affected the entire country and world. Everyone was in shock and the world stood still for those not involved in the rescue efforts.
BE MINDFUL OF THE PR NEWS CYCLE
As a publicist, I found myself in those same 9/11 shoes with Sandy. As warnings were sent to residents on the east to be prepared for the storm of the century the night of October 29 and the following day – all eyes were peeled on TV news channels and second screen devices to see how our fellow Americans were faring. Although, I had information to pitch during that time, I refrained from doing my job knowing it would be irresponsible for me to contact a reporter in any city on those particular days while they are reporting on the general news coverage of the natural disaster.
The point I am trying to make with this post is that there are just some days that you can’t do your job, and that’s okay. Would it have hurt if I sent out a general media pitch? Probably not. Would my pitch have been read during that time? Probably not. Was the news I had to communicate a top priority in the events of the world? No.
So to all those publicists in training reading this post, please be mindful of the news cycle. Refrain from general product pitches during such times as a national disaster, a Presidential election and mass shootings. By not bothering the media during these times, you’ll gain respect as opposed to the real possibility of losing face with them.
Even though the storm is over, I’m still extremely mindful when pitching some of my New York/New Jersey media colleagues. To this day, I start out each pitch wishing them the best for many of them are still not back in their offices and still trying to get their heat and power back on at home. So if pitching media in this area, be real and ask them how they are and mean it before you start selling them your wares. I promise you your goodwill will be noticed and you will stand out.
All My Best,