As I was going through my morning ritual of weeding through my Twitter and RSS feeds yesterday, I came across a couple of IT-related articles that I found to be very clever.
The first was from “Sharky” on Computerworld’s Shark Tank blog. (I think these posts are great and I read them regularly). Yesterday’s post discussed the trials and tribulations of website development and that, at the end of the day, decisions are made (whether you like them or not) and you may never know the reasoning behind those decisions. It made my chuckle on two fronts. First, because I’ve worked with many clients and website developers over the years and the post couldn’t be more accurate – the whims of decision making. But also, in PR we face many of the same obstacles on a daily basis.
Part of agency life is ensuring our clients are being written about in ways that will benefit them – lead generation, brand recognition and more. But sometimes, for whatever reason, the client will go off on a tangent and ask us to work on a project that does not (at least on the surface) have any perceived value. As consultants it is our job, first and foremost to council our clients on approach and why something they thought of on their commute to work may or may not work. Second (actually really tied for first) it is our responsibility to listen to the client – often they have good ideas. They may be a little out there, but it is that kind of out-of-the box thinking that gets the media’s interest. That said, we are not “yes” people, nor do our clients want us to be. They want our open and honest opinion. However, once we’ve listened and counseled it is then up to the client to make the final decision and for us to work with that decision – for better or worse.
The second piece was a slideshow by IT World Canada, in which they spoofed the movie industry by adding an IT twist to movie plots. Maybe it is because I’ve been in technology PR for more than 10 years, but some of the slides were quite amusing. (My favorite was Crazy, Stupid Love of Social Media and the army of Mark Zukerburgs.) I thought the reporter/editor who pulled it together did a really good, creative job. I will say, I’d rather them write glowing stories on my clients, but I guess everyone has to have a little fun sometimes, right? The slideshow also made me think…did the editorial team pull this together on their own, or did some sly PR person give them the idea? Either way, it just goes to show that a good idea is a good idea and it is always worth approaching the media to see if they agree. If so, your client might be the next vendor to be included in one of these clever media opportunities.