Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Rules of BaselWorld - PR Agencies, Do Your Homework

As we get ready for BaselWorld it seems that it is a good time to offer an update on the rules of BaselWorld and blend in some of the new unspoken language that accompanies it.

Rule 1 - PR Agencies - do you f*&cking homework!  In many instances you are receiving truly staggering amounts of money with the expectation that you just might INCREASE a brand's message.  One of the best ways that you can do this is to actually ENGAGE with writers, influencers, etc. who are NOT already on the list that you put together 5 to 10 years ago.  Believe it or not, there are more people covering watches than Hodinkee, A Blog to Watch and Timezone.  Moreover, consider that if you are representing a smaller brand, you will need to depend on as many different outlets as you can to get the message out and then continue to build and strengthen that relationship.  It is, of course, far easier to just hit the send button, but quite honestly a brand can do that on their own.  Earn your pay.

This is paired with our first entry in this year's unspoken language of BaselWorld -
From the head of a newly retained PR firm:
"Hi James!  Long time no talk to!"

True meaning -
No, you are not on my list, I have absolutely no idea who you are, and I'm only sending this because the brand that is paying me informed me that apparently I now have to communicate with you...
Yes, it truly has been a "long time" as FOREVER is a mighty long time ; )

Do your homework, be engaged - and be genuine.  Because I did receive that message from the head of a PR firm who has never met me, never communicated with me, and ignored multiple previous requests to be added to press lists, BaselWorld appointments,  etc.

A message like that only reinforces the impression that the agency has no idea who they are actually communicating with, and leaves the recipient of the message the strong feeling that they are incredibly disingenuous and the they will most likely have to constantly contact the brand to get any sort of press release, BaselWorld appointment, etc.

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