Home » OPINION » Columns » TODD SMITH'S SPIN CYCLE — Understanding and working with five types of PR peeps

TODD SMITH'S SPIN CYCLE — Understanding and working with five types of PR peeps

PR-peeps-graphic_rgbIn the interest of facilitating a better representation of what PR peeps should – and should not – be, PR Newser and mediabistro.com recently identified personality types of public relations practitioners. Here are the Top 5 types – and best practices – in working with us spin docs to build your brand.

1. The Misplaced. Ever worked with someone who just doesn’t get it? Whether “it” is pitching, follow-up, account management, writing coherent sentences – it just isn’t there in these cases. The most relevant questions regarding The Misplaced: how did they get into this industry? And why do they insist on making my job more difficult?

• Attitude: Friendly, to a fault. Makes a good personality seem like a cover-up for bad work.

• Turn-ons: Mentorship and learning by example. Why? It’s like they’re back in class.

• Turn-offs: The question, “Are you a self-starter?” That would be “no.”

• The tell sign: The pairing of a pitch list and a phone inspires profuse jitters and sweat.

• Teamwork: They want to help, and try hard to do so, but usually get caught up in keeping up.

2. The Brown-noser. Go to lunch and you know where this one will sit. You also know who will be first to talk at every staff meeting and who will be the first to offer up the idea that you mentioned two hours ago in the corner office. For some reason, those who conform to this archetype tend to last they last much longer than they should in PR. Don’t fret, though: the boss’s behind gets kissed because this type can’t get it done with the media.

• Attitude: Overly kind when the boss is around. Aloof – door closed – when he or she is not.

• Turn-ons: The staff meeting where the boss is doling out compliments.

• Turn-offs: The staff meeting where the boss is doling out compliments – for everyone but the brown-noser.

• The tell sign: When a team brainstorm becomes a pep-rally, and this one is the head cheerleader.

• Teamwork: This one wants all the credit, so don’t count on “teamwork is dreamwork.”

3. The Word Nerd. You can always identify a word nerd in his/her natural habitat with the red Sharpie on standby (or the virtual Sharpie). While others are reading theories by Bernays and Ivy Lee and scouring the news via Twitter, this grammarian stays loyal to a worn-out version of the AP Stylebook. Word Nerds are great people to proof your work in a pinch – but don’t be surprised if they come up with urgently needed edits that you forgot three months ago.

• Attitude: Sometimes reserved but usually happy to help. Lightens up when AP comes out with new edits.

• Turn-ons: A news release with more red marks than a college English teacher.

• Turn-offs: Any work done by that one really great writer on the team. No serious proofreading needed, frowny face.

• The tell sign: Drool – namely when an account executive asks for some additional eyes on their client document.

• Teamwork: Always happy to help. (It’s cathartic. Let them have it.)

4. The Contact Hoarder. Count on your office friendship with this one being challenged the second you ask for an introduction to a certain local anchor, producer, or editor. The contact hoarder will put the nix on that. This one lives in a world of paranoia driven by the belief that if you both pitch the same contact, said media person will start befriending you and forget the one that brought you to the party. Sure, media lists are open to everyone, but contacts are like fire hydrants in this one’s case.

• Attitude: This is your office buddy – except when it comes time to offer a helping hand with someone they know.

• Turn-ons: When someone answers a pitch, it’s a kind of euphoria.

• Turn-offs: When someone else in the office gets an answer to a pitch from a contact this one covets. Daggers!

• The tell sign: You ask for an eIntroduction for a media type and this one stumbles with “I know this person. Maybe I should pitch for you?”

• Teamwork: Don’t count on it.

5. The Closer. It’s easy to be envious of this one because they rock at pitching. From schmaltzy e-mails or skillfully crafted narratives, this one gets it done. The practice seems like a mathematical equation you can’t decipher, because when you pitch the same contacts you get a goose egg while this one makes it seem like calling a BFF. Fortunately, the closer is quietly confident (most of the time), so you can count on a quick tutorial when you need one.

• Attitude: Happy to help but doesn’t mind showing off the skills when the team needs a hit.

• Turn-ons: Getting that one hard media nut to crack on a phone.

• Turn-offs: When the superpowers are ineffective. It’s like sucking a kryptonite lollipop.

• The tell sign: Someone in the team meeting cries out, “Man, we need a media hit” and this one breaks out in hives.

• Teamwork: Count on it.

What do we think? Which of the five do you know best?

Twitter To Launch Targeted Ads For Movies

Twitter is getting into the movie business, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Twitter is poised to begin beta testing on targeted ads for users who are passionate about movies, according to The Hollywood Reporter. And Twitter is touting it as another great movie experience for studios.

Here’s how it would work: If a studio had a sci-fi epic coming out, it could tell Twitter to show its ads to people who have been chatting about Galaxy. Twitter will then display the ads to people who are not only talking about Guardians — but also to those who have engaged about related key words, such as characters Groot and Rocket. The studio wouldn’t have to specify those words itself, just the movie title.

Twitter made the decision after researching how people are talking about movies with the social platform.

The ads will be targeted toward engagement for specific movie names, movie genres and with movies in general.
Twitter says it will begin beta testing within the next few months. It already has a similar system in place for TV fans.

In addition, Twitter has added Fizziology and Networked Insights as new certified partners. Both are offering solutions that serve the media and entertainment verticals.

Golden Mic | Tennessee Titans Domestic Abuse Efforts

They might not show up on the field – at least they haven’t so far this NFL season – but the Tennessee Titans show up in the community, and are making a big difference with a vitriolic issue that has given the NFL a black eye, domestic abuse.  The Titans helped kick off domestic violence awareness month by donating $100,000 each to the YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee and the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence. Titans president and chief executive officer Tommy Smith and his wife, Susie, presented the checks at a recent luncheon at LP Field. The Titans are also planning a domestic violence awareness event during their Oct. 12 game with Jacksonville. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean said he would like the Titans to join the city’s partnership working to stop domestic violence because the team’s involvement could be the tipping point in those efforts. For these efforts, the Titans are taking a big step towards ending domestic violence, and grab this week’s Golden Mic. Let’s all hope they can make an impact on the field – and soon.

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.



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