Senior Account Supervisor Lee Kravetz here, LCI’s newest staff member coming to you fresh off the plane from New York City. The other day my neighbor, another PR professional, was showing off her new iPhone to me. This device really does it all. Email, phone calls, mapping, Mp3 downloads. Tech-wise, it’s more powerful than anything the Apollo 18 had on deck and light years more capable than the IBM I had as a kid.
Professionally, this sort of technology now allows us to be in touch with our clients and our media contacts anywhere and at anytime. We can find media, search databases, pull up statistics, make conference calls and shoot off pitching queries, all within seconds.
Clearly, it’s revolutionized the PR industry in almost every way. In doing so, though, we are at risk of losing something substantial. We are in danger of neglecting the importance of building face-to-face relationships, crucial in today’s media-driven world.
Bookers, editors and writers receive endless streams of news and story pitches from publicists and their PR ilk everyday. A catchy subject line won’t cut it. Follow-up emails and calls are generally lost to the ether. Building those relationships with key media, both locally and nationally, drives our industry as well as the media industry.
While these technological advances have clearly made our jobs easier, at its core, PR hasn’t changed a bit since William Randolph Hearst ran his papers. That is, in-person relationship-building is as important now as it was when my grandfather ran his fabric shop in the 1950s and 60s. Selling –whether its news hooks or reams of twill – comes down to making the effort to meet people face-to-face, to understand who they are, to learn where it is they’re coming from, and to have what they are actually looking for readily available.
Meanwhile, as the newest transplant back to San Francisco –my original home away from home— here’s my buzz-worthy recommendations for acclimating oneself to the Bay Area!
THE BUENA VISTA
Peet’s has its place of honor in the Bay Area, but nothing beats the Buena Vista –the first bar in the country to serve Irish coffee. In true “bigger-is-better” form, the bar celebrated its recent 56th birthday by fixing the world’s largest Irish coffee!
This site hasn’t quite reached the fever pitch in NY that it has here in SF, but Yelp is catching on nationally, and I can see why. The internet has really become the great equalizer, where fan reviews (both good and bad) can ultimately make a huge difference on sales. In 24-hours, I found my furniture, dentist, a garage for my car, the best neighborhood bakery and discovered Rainbow Grocery, all from customer reviews.
If only I’d known how easy it was to use Zipcar in San Francisco BEFORE purchasing my own car. Zipcar is not only convenient, the service covers all gas and tolls!