Thursday, January 21, 1999

Music Makes the World Go Round, and a "PR Primer"

The day was also going full steam ahead uptown at the New York Software Summit at the Fashion Institute of Technology, chaired by Bruce E. Bernstein, President, NYSIA. I caught the tail end of the panel on "Digital Music," moderated by WWWAC president Bob Ponce. Michael Robertson (CEO,, Howard M. Singer, Ph. D. (CTO, A2B Music), Dick Wingate (VP, content dev, Liquid Audio) and Nick DiGiacomo (VP, Scient Corp.) debated the future of music and its distribution. Panels were back to back and after chumming it up with Robert Thomason of "The Washington Post" I snuck in classy Alice O'Rourke's "Media Roundtable: Media Coverage of NY High Tech Industries." My notes, gleaned from the wisdom of Judy Messina (Crain's NY Business), Renee Edelman (PR 21), Mark Berniker (CNNfn), Jason Chervokas (@NY), and Alice are as follows:

"A Little PR Primer"

When approaching the press:
- Be Honest
- Be Persistent (but know journalists deadlines)
- Don't call 3x a day
- Start with "Would you be interested in..." as opposed to "Hey! Let me tell you about this great, new, gadety, world-revolutionary, change-the-internet-new company/product."
- Write a thought-full press release
- And a good pitch letter goes a long way
- Don't say the news is an embargo or an exclusive and then "sell" it to the NY Times too.
- Be articulate
- Be able to explain what you're pitching
- Be Honest about your competition
- Be willing to talk numbers
- Don't call asking if they received the press release (duh!)
- Keep the press release short!
- Make it compelling!
- E-mail -- DON'T CALL!
- The story is king -- just being persistent with a dreadful story won't guarantee coverage.

And on that note I gathered my notes and head straight for work (and a little rest before the hectic night)!