Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bad campaigns are occupational hazards.

You might have been able to sense my frustration following the disastrous Heather Maloney campaign (ahem), but it had been so long since I'd run a disastrous campaign that I forgot one simple fact of PR: no matter how good a publicist is, some campaigns just suck!

Like the Downtown Harvest campaign in which I wrote a very specific press release for a show and began promoting it, only to find that the supporting acts, and thus the nature of the show, kept changing for reasons unknown to me. And amidst all the resulting confusion, I was able to get only one writer interested in covering the show -- but he couldn't make it because the show was set to run too late!

Or what was supposed to be an oh-so-important campaign for The Josh and Pete Band, in which no one could seem to get show info from the venue in time, but I had to start the campaign. After I'd been promoting for a while, the venue listed the show -- without The Josh and Pete Band! A decidedly unfunny comedy of errors ensued between the venue and the band while I had to switch from "urgent" to "dormant" until the mess was settled. By which point, of course, the campaign was dead.

Smaller, but equally unsettling, developments can be expected as well. Like the writer who was expected to cover the Audible Eye show -- but she never showed up. Or the carefully-booked, precisely-promoted Laura Cheadle show onto which someone (most likely from the venue) belatedly tacked on an ill-fitting extra act who was not the least bit welcome.....but it's not like we had any say in the matter!

When things go well in this line of work, it's wonderful. But every field sucks in some ways, right?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Holy Maloney!

Can baby say, "Epic fail"?

With this Heather Maloney campaign, I started off getting surprisingly little interest, finding in the process that tech snafus had ruined the formatting of my press release and may have thus sabotaged my efforts. Bloody but unbowed, I sent out a corrected press release and gained a tad more traction. Still not getting enough interest, I contacted friends of mine outside of the media who had shown an interest in Heather, hoping they'd come to the show and/or help spread the word. I gained a little more traction. One week before the show, I sent out a reminder to my media contacts and got an offer for an interview. Now we were cooking! But when I asked Heather's manager if she was available for the interview, he wrote back not only that she was unavailable, but that....


That's right, Heather's show this Thursday at Roosevelt's is NOT HAPPENING until God knows when.

Leading me, of course, to have to send out retractions and make amends with everyone who had expressed an interest.

Remind me, why do I want to stay in this line of work?