Posts Tagged ‘Inside PR’

Should Principals Really Do Media Clippings?

In a recent episode of Inside PR, one of the excellent podcasts I mentioned yesterday, the panel members talked about the importance of senior executives in public relations agencies continuing to do the “grunt work.” I meant to phone-in a comment but kept forgetting and decided, in the end, to write about it here instead.

Maintaining your skills is important

I completely agree with most of what the Inside PR crew said.

As Julie Rusciolelli mentioned in a related blog post:

“Senior PR practitioners should never feel so self-important where they don’t need to make a media call or draft a press release.”

For one thing, as they point out, staying involved maintains your executives’ skills. Writing takes practice, and it’s easy to forget how you used to go about it. Media calls are the same, as are many other aspects of communications.

Aside from the practical benefits to the executives, continuing to do the practical work also motivates the more junior employees who see that their boss is still willing to get stuck-in and do some of the heavy lifting.


I think there are some things on which senior execs shouldn’t spend their time, and that wasn’t communicated effectively in the conversation.

One of the panel mentioned media lists. I’m not sure that clients would want to spend $300 per hour for you to create media lists or cut clippings when they could spend $100 or less per hour for the same result.

This isn’t about being too good or too senior to do something, or having worked your way out of having to do it; it’s about providing good value for money to clients.

Experience does matter

Don’t get me wrong – as I said earlier I agree with most of what the team said. In some cases it does make sense for senior practitioners to stay involved and I certainly don’t think you become “too good” for tasks as you move up. What’s more, in some instances experience can result in a superior product. For example:

  • Experienced writers add value by knowing how to structure their work
  • Experienced media relations pros know how to effectively communicate a story to reporters
  • Experienced event planners will see the gaps in event plans before they jeopardize the event.

It also makes sense for experienced team members to stay involved when they’re coaching others. That kind of learning is invaluable.

In other cases, though, this kind of thinking just comes across as people trying too hard to sound humble. Sure, when you’re short-staffed it’s great to know that people are willing and able to chip in. The rest of the time, however, wouldn’t it be better to oversee those things while helping the more junior employees to develop?

Long-term that will provide your client with better value.

(Prior to publishing this post, I contacted a couple of the members of the Inside PR panel to get their reaction. Dave Jones reinforced his valid point from the show that as people move up the ladder they can delegate work, but the responsibility for that work ultimately continues to rest with them. Martin Waxman, meanwhile agreed with my concern about billing rates and suggested that principals lower their rates for that work or provide a blended rate to clients. Thanks for your input, guys)

Top 12 Communications, Marketing And Social Media Podcasts

I’m a podcast junkie. I listen to them whenever I’m outside, and I get through a lot. It helps that I run marathons, so I spend an hour or two on the trails most nights and have plenty of time to listen.

If you’re into PR and social media and you’re new to podcasting or are looking for a few new shows to check out, here are my current favourites, in no particular order:

Six Pixels of Separation

As I said in a call-in comment to this show last week, Mitch Joel‘s ‘Six Pixels of Separation’ is one of the shows that got me into listening to podcasts. Mitch’s enthusiasm for his subjects is infectious. What’s more, his commentary, insights, interviews and useful tips make for essential listening if you’re even remotely connected to digital marketing.

For Immediate Release

This is another one of the foundations of my podcast playlist. Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson, together with a plethora of regular correspondents, lead their listeners on a bi-weekly tour of the world of communications and social media.

For Immediate Release is divided into several ‘streams’ – the Hobson & Holtz report; book reviews; interviews and live call-in shows. They’re available individually or aggregated together as a single feed.

The regular shows are usually about an hour long, so if you don’t have lots of time for your podcast listening it can be a bit infeasible to listen to them all (I quickly fall behind when I’m not training every day).

Inside PR

The first of several Canadian podcasts on this list, Inside PR is one of the shows that I make a point of listening-to as soon as it is published each week. Hosted by Dave Jones, Martin Waxman, Julie Rusciolelli and the guy-next-door-to-me, Terry Fallis. The show focuses on public relations from an agency perspective, and was actually the first podcast to which I ever listened.

Managing the Gray

Along with Mitch Joel, CC Chapman has one of the most energizing, infectious voices in podcasting. He can be sporadic in posting new episodes sometimes, but the energy level alone makes them worth checking out. I had the pleasure of hanging out with CC at PodCamp Montreal this year, and the energy is there in real life as well. The marketing thoughts in his show are helpful, too…

License to spyCBC Search Engine

This is the first show I listen to every week. Unfortunately Jesse Brown’s lively, insightful show got cut from the CBC’s regular schedule and the length has suffered from the lack of resources Jesse now has. Regardless, it’s still essential listening for me. It doesn’t hurt that I love the way the show is structured – the music, the tone, the topics all fit together perfectly.

CBC Spark

Nora Young hosts Spark, another CBC podcast which explores issues in technology and culture. I met Nora and her colleague Dan Misener at Podcasters Across Borders this year

Media Bullseye Radio Roundtable

The most recent addition to my list (as the folks at Custom Scoop just added it to iTunes); every week Jen Zingsheim and Chip Griffin invite a different person from the social media sphere to join them for a discussion of the latest news in the blogosphere. The different speakers each episode mean there’s always a new perspective on things. Well worth checking out.


The cast of PRobecast has changed over time as people have come and gone from the Topaz Partners team, but the show has retained its focus on social media and public relations. Nowadays the cast includes a couple of people who are new to/haven’t bought-in to the social media ‘thing’ so there are plenty of interesting discussions.

Marketing Over Coffee

Christopher Penn and John Wall meet at a Boston-area Dunkin Donuts every week to discuss the latest in marketing trends and techniques. I have a habit of referring to the show as “Spam over Coffee” due to their focus on email marketing, but whichever way you cut it, there’s more knowledge jammed into each show than I possess in total.

(Also check out John’s other show, The M Show, for his take on recent news and entertainment happenings; and Christopher’s Financial Aid Podcast for… well… financial advice.)

Trafcom News

The lovely Donna Papacosta’s podcast is one of the more irregular shows on my listening list, but it’s worth it for the useful, practical podcasting and audio production tips, and Donna’s dulcet tones (she’s like an audio massage).


One of the more irreverent shows on my list, this one makes it on here due to its occasional tangential mentions of PR and marketing. I primarily listen to Shill for amusement while telling myself it’s educational.

With an apparently random show schedule, Dave Jones and Doug Walker take a tour through whatever catches their attention at the time. Throw-in the occasional F-bomb, plenty of self-mockery and copious ribbing of their listener, and you’ve got a thoroughly amusing show (to me, anyway… but what do I know?).

Tip: The show notes are often as amusing as the podcast itself.

Media Driving

The show title is apt, as Jay Moonah quite literally drives while recording this podcast (I wonder how that will work with Ontario’s proposed new cellphone driving law…)! The shortest show on my playlist, the ever bubbly Jay usually gets into just one topic within the umbrella of “communications, content, messages and marketing” on each show. This makesMedia Driving perfect for when you’ve got a spare minute or 10 on your hands.

So now you know what I’m listening to. What about you?