Account Supervisor Alicia Balkrishna here with a bit of insight on big PR ideas. . .
We have a joke here at LCI about one of our sage senior counselors, Judy Rowcliffe: Pop in a quarter, an idea pops out.
One day I asked Judy how she keeps the ideas flowing so freely – and braced myself for a response that would suggest that her creativity was a singular gift: An IQ of 198? A magical idea gnome?
‘I’m a media junkie,’ she said.
The answer was refreshingly simple. By faithfully reading the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle cover to cover, watching TV news nightly, listening to NPR in the car and pouring over the glossies, you have the chance to study thousands of real-life PR case studies. Listen or read with a critical eye: What’s the hook? Is there a memorable stunt or event that grabs headlines? Who’s the expert? I was delighted to be reminded that we have the opportunity to be inspired by every story that lands on the air, in print or online.
I’m a pragmatist and an idealist, so I can’t forget the fact that being a media junkie also nets practical dividends for pitching. Our agency is having a ball discovering new columns – and new opportunities for our clients – in the recently redesigned San Francisco Chronicle. By steeping yourself in media, you get to know writers, columns and sections that are essential for a well-targeted pitch. It seems like a no-brainer, but showing that you understand the outlet, what they cover and that you’re familiar with a reporter’s work is just as important as sharing the ‘big’ idea.
So whether your daily dose comes with morning coffee or a glass of wine in the evening, I say bring on the media!
Here are my buzzworthy tips for great places to crack open the Chronicle:
La Boulange – Sip a great cup of coffee and nibble on sweet or savory treats while you read at this charming European-inspired Hayes Valley café. Then head to Hayes Valley Green – a lovely local park – right across the street.
The Embarcadero – Take a seat on one of the benches lining the Embarcardero waterfront and soak up views of the Bay and Bridge.
The lawn in front of the California Academy of Sciences – throw down a blanket and check out the beautiful Renzo Piano building and the architectural delights of the De Young museum just across the way.