Boo! Publicist Horror Stories for Halloween

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!

Seriously, some of these scenarios keep our team up at night

  • “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”

Tell us in the comments, on Twitter, or Facebook…what are your PR boogeymen?