To the average person, the phrase "publicity nightmare" usually means that a celebrity just did a big "no-no" or a politician landed themselves in a new scandal, but every publicist as their own fears of what could go wrong during a campaign (and trust us, it's not just the thought of a client jumping on Oprah's couch.) We asked around the office and in the spirit of Halloween, we're sharing our worst publicity nightmares and how our team survives them!
- "You get your client a national in-studio television interview. They make their travel plans (book flights and hotel room, etc). A couple days before the interview, the producer emails you and says they have to cancel. Solution: Reach out to other producers in NYC (or wherever the interview was to be held) and see if you can get a substitute interview for the same day that your client was scheduled to be there."
- "When personally pitching for a client, I typically use a bit of a template and build upon it from there. A few times early in my career, I changed the contact's info and name but not the outlet they work for, sending a pitch for another magazine or TV show to a direct competitor. Surprisingly, I didn't hear from them with a request. It's so important, no matter how big or small the campaign, to be mindful of the details."
- "When my client had to cancel right before a national radio interview, Sophia jumped in with her client and we were able to provide the show with a substitute guest. Not only was Sophia able to get a great run for her client, but I was able to save a top-tier media contact from souring on me. It's one of the advantages of having a team behind you."
- "I love working with enthusiastic and proactive clients, but if we aren't on the same page it can be a disaster. Once, when pitching what I thought was an author's byline as an exclusive to top newspapers,was informed by a media contact that they'd just seen the piece elsewhere. Little did I know that the client was trying to be helpful when they did some of their own pitching. Extra help is great, but teamwork is better"