Marijane Funess January 29, 2013 | 01:22:18

PR Is Where You Find It!

In the last couple of days a cover letter from a student seeking an internship with a Wall Street firm has caught the eye of the media as well as other companies, notably Smith & Wollensky, which expressed interest in hiring the note’s author via a full-page ad in The New York Times.

What makes the note special is the particularly self-deprecating and refreshingly honest appraisal of the applicant’s lack of “unbelievably special skills or genius eccentricities.”

I, for one, am on pins and needles to see where this sought-after prospect finally ends up – slicing steak or crunching numbers?

What makes the story special to PR pros, though, is the brilliant way Smith & Wollensky leveraged the intern’s mention of the landmark New York City restaurant. In the note, the author begins by reminding his would-be employer that they “met the summer before last at Smith & Wollensky’s.”

I imagine that this mere mention in the note stirred creative brilliance in a PR person connected to Smith & Wollensky and an entire campaign was born predicated on the restaurant’s eagerness to hire smart and interesting employees. The ad appeared followed by an avalanche of good PR in places like Forbes and MSN.

There’s a great lesson here for all practitioners – PR is where you find it; more precisely, it’s where you look for it, and we should always be looking for it!

As you consume content in its various online and traditional forms, be on the lookout for ways to weave your client’s story into something entering the zeitgeist. Not a force-fit, but something that organically makes sense for your client to become an interesting spin to an existing story, or to take off in an entirely new direction.

You may not have this Smith & Wollensky-type story fall in your lap, but if you’re looking for it, you should be able to find opportunities that work for clients.
Any great examples? Let us know here.

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