I’ve had reason to reach out to all kinds of companies for business-to-business media outlets: cable operators and programmers, small and large high tech companies, advertising agencies, magazine media companies, video postproduction boutiques, automakers. The list goes on. The first step is always the same—find the name and contact information of a particular company’s public relations staffer.
And it’s a name, email address and phone number of an actual person that I seek. Not firstname.lastname@example.org or a Twitter handle. I’m constantly surprised that in an era of “listening” and two-way conversations and transparency that so many companies and nonprofit organizations choose not to reveal the names and direct contact information of their media relations person or team. Or, if they do reveal a name or names, it is buried deep within a Web site.
This is so common that I have to believe it’s not a mere oversight—it must be part of an overall strategy. For all the talk about letting the customers or audience be a part of a brand’s story, it appears that the need to control the story is just as strong as ever. The message to the media can be read as: Don’t call us, we’ll call you when we have something to announce.
Time is tight for all of us, and when media professionals can’t easily find a human to contact, they’ll move on to another company, which will ultimately get the coverage and attention everyone seeks.
So get your real name out there. There are people who want to talk to you.