Judith Gaskell PR
Judith Gaskell PR



Slowly does it!


As I closed the door last week on the latest ‘chugger’ to call at the usual inconvenient time I wondered why so many charities using this as a sales technique. Can it really work? I suppose it must or they wouldn’t do it. But opening the door to an enthusiastic 17 year old asking me if I’ve ever heard of WWF while I’ve left three pans on the stove, a client on the phone and a daughter wanting help with homework was both insulting and inconvenient.

This also took me back to something I’d read recently about the growing trend for ‘slow pr’ in the US. This is a name for what is obvious and makes total sense when it comes to pr (particularly in a climate where budgets are carefully watched ). What it’s  about is choosing which media you think it will be most beneficial to appear in/on and working hard to create messages that will both appeal to these media and get a client’s message across. Journalists have long complained of the pr consultants (often a junior) who contact them with no knowledge of them or their media (the more haste less speed form of pr). I think back to my first job in pr when down in the basement was a team who spent all day photocopying, stapling and stuffing press releases into envelopes to ensure they went as far afield as possible (very often to  a journalist’s spike). Those were pre email days and today’s equivalent is the clogging up of inboxes rather than letter boxes. In fact a letter in the post (particularly with a hand written envelope) would probably not be overlooked because of its novelty value. But what I learnt in my early days still holds true today; the best way to put across a client’s message is either on the phone or, even better and if you can manage it, face to face. But only when you're clear what you want to say and how it might appeal to the recipient. Which brings me back to the chugger. While face to face might be best I hope it might have occured to them when they saw me that I might well have heard of WWF.


Judith Gaskell

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