Things that Go Bump in the Day
My 15-year-old has been watching the marathon of "The Simpsons" TreeHouse of Horror episodes for days now. My spin instructor started his class this week with the theme from Halloween and ended it with Michael Jackson's Thriller. I saw a house the other night that was lit up with orange (and my husband swears pink) lights, as well as jack-o-lanterns and other Halloween decorations. People are certainly doing Halloween big these days. It's fun for the kids, including the big kids. Our Boston office annually holds a contest between the four quads for who has the most creative costumes and decorations when we have our own party and trick-or-treating for employees' kids.
But it isn't the costumes or horror flicks that scare me these days. PR people have different fears:
The late night phone call from a client contact reporting that the CEO accidentally leaked the announcement we've been planning for months.
The call from a journalist who keeps a tickler file and wants to know why she has not seen anything more about the new product that was supposed to be generally available by the end of this month.
The news that a prospect who planned to only talk to two other firms now has been forced to open up the search and is sending an 8-page RFP to 25 agencies.
A client telling us they need to pull the plug at the last minute on an announcement after weeks of pre-briefing analysts and press.
A renegade executive spokesperson who gives a quote to a major daily publication and then tells his PR team to have the quote “tweaked” after it hits.
Hearing a spokesperson say, "Now, the next thing I am going to say is off the record."
Securing a great piece of coverage for a client, but find that the reporter spelled the client’s name wrong in print.
An ambiguous meeting request from the most senior client contact or CEO that start with, “Do you have time to talk for 15 minutes this afternoon? I'll call you."
Living in constant fear that your pitch/e-mail will be torn apart on some enraged reporter’s blog.
Learning a spokesperson just promised an exclusive – to two different reporters.
Corporate executives not showing up for in-person interviews with business press. Or vice versa, reporters not showing up for an interview after your client flew half way across the country to meet with them.
Oh, it is a scary profession. But we soldier on, bolstered by the knowledge that there will be leftover candy after the kids have all gone home.