Marijane Funess December 11, 2015 | 12:34:44

A PR Holiday Wish List

At this time of year, the typical NYC PR team begins dreaming of industry “gifts” they might like to receive. Of course, we all love tangibles like a great bottle of wine or sweets, but in a more abstract sense, we’re talking about gifts that benefit our profession. Here are a few standouts for Holiday 2016.

Companies who take crisis prep seriously.  Given the (often well-deserved) drubbing many corporations have taken this year due to a crisis –  VW, Subway, Chipotle, we’re talking about you here – we can only wish for clients who work with their PR teams to conduct audits, take potential threats seriously, and craft a thoughtful plan way before anything happens.

Media who provide helpful feedback. We work with multiple journalists covering everything from B2B tech to beer and the best relationships are the ones where real dialogue occurs. We often say the next best response after, “Love this story, send me more” is, “Can’t use this because…” followed by some helpful, thoughtful rationale. This feedback helps us to be better media partners and create better stories.

Companies who respect the PR proposal process.  Ah, the wish that never seems to come true. Every year there are a number of “bad actors” who put PR teams through rigorous RFPs with unrealistic deadlines and huge asks, but who never follow up and don’t respond to inquiries after the proposal is delivered. This remains a source of frustration for the people who put blood, sweat and late hours into PR proposals only to see them vanish like cast members from “The Leftovers.”

Better writing. Since we live in a world where everyone’s a publisher — compounded by near-constant texting and posting as primary forms of communication — grammar, spelling and punctuation take a beating. And, despite our wishes, they may never recover, based on some findings from the Pew Research Center. The conclusion? New platforms encourage more writing, which is a plus, but teachers feel digital tools and platforms may diminish grammatical skills and vocabulary, due largely to today’s more informal writing.

Fewer emails. Alas, the scourge of every PR team is also the most necessary evil. Sure there have been attempts to eliminate, or tools to help better manage, including Crenshaw client ToutApp and others, but the fact is, it remains the primary way to deliver information to business audiences quickly and accurately. Based on this interesting conversation about the retro joys of the typewriter, I guess we could go back to “snail mail” and more phone conversations, but those come with their own issues!
Happy Holidays! What’s on your wish list?

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