At last – a PR guy with heart?

April 20, 2009

According to this story, we might have found a truly inspiring PR guy. One with a spirit if openness and innovation.

On Alan Mutter’s excellent blog, the profitable running of PR guy Shankman’s American venture Help A Reporter Out, or HARO, seems to be raking in the cash, as Shankman effortlessly links up journalists and sources. The revenues earnt from the linkages are proving lucrative: Shankman has taken more than $1 million in the last year alone.

This got me thinking.

The value of networks, connecting, adding personal value – these have long been known in PR circles, but rarely fully utilised. The concept of sharing contacts with other PRs, for example, used to be a huge no-no. Some PRs are too precious about a number of things, including their contacts. I tend to prefer a looser more relaxed, informal approach to my clients and media contacts.

To be fair, it is a practice I have carried out for years, as the inherent value of sharing usually increases personal reputation if nothing else – which in turn often brings a financial return at some point further down the road.

In fact, I haven’t pitched for a new client in more than three years – personal recommendations and word-of-mouth referrals have taken the Beauty Parade Pitch process out of the equation. And thankfully.

So, how are you utilising your networks for PR gains? Are you leveraging your Press and client contacts? If not, why not? Isn’t it about time you got a return on all that giving? Particularly as we hit the halfway point of the recession.

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