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     Real Results, No Excuses

While a writer for the Chicago Sun-Times, I received pitches from public relations agency professionals daily. The vast majority of those story pitches weren’t credible. They were pleas for promotion of their client's product, service or event. More than 95 percent of the people on the other end of the email (they rarely had the courage to make a phone call) had no idea about what was required for a legitimate news pitch or how to make one. It was laughable and the reason journalists have such little respect for most PR agency people. That’s just a fact. Understand, there is a significant difference between agency PR practitioners and internal public relations professionals at companies. It’s been my experience that the best and brightest of the profession are employed by companies, representing the interests of those organizations. I know many have worked at PR firms and were dissuaded by the deceptive practices, so they went corporate, a smart decision in my view. The only outlier in that equation are the small PR firms operated by professionals with integrity. I count my firm, Ruane PR, among that very small group. When I made the transition into public relations in 1990, I didn’t have that perspective. I joined a major firm, Edelman in Chicago, and brought with me an inside understanding of how the news media works and how to make an effective story pitch. At Edelman, I excelled placing stories at a far higher rate than any of my associates. Five years later, when I joined Upjohn, I had four major New York PR firms reporting to me. In general, the lack of media relations skills at those firms, led me to conduct the pitches. My interest was success for the company and I didn’t care if I had to do the heavy lifting. As an example, when we launched Mirapex for Parkinson’s disease, the firm representing us couldn’t even be reached by phone to start pitching the launch announcement. I was forced to start pitching the media targets, which resulted in placements in key medical trade and traditional media publications. When I finally got ahold of the director at the agency, he basically gave me an excuse that we weren’t paying them enough to be on hold for an announcement. The monthly retainer they were receiving was $30K in 1997. Excuses! That’s what I received and that remained an on-going trend from that firm as well as the other three. Given those facts, I decided to start my own firm on June 1, 1998, providing director-level service at cost-effective rates. We would be a firm that would offer skilled and experienced service, generating REAL results and no excuses. Since 1998, we have gone on to set media coverage records for our clients, easily beating the competition, usually major New York firms. Certainly the business of public relations has changed significantly over the past 26 years, but media relations and the ability to generate coverage remains a priority for most companies. We take that coverage and expand awareness through social media posts. Our media knowledge and skillset has also been valuable when defending a client company in crisis, knowing what reporters would be asking and preparing clients accordingly with accurate Key Messaging/Q&A documents and on-the-mark media training to fully prepare them. This was not like the dog-and-pony show media training I watched a New York firm conduct in the preparation for the launch of a new treatment for OCD in April of 1995. For Solvay and Upjohn, it was a complete waste of time and money. At the press conference, no real reporters attended and the agency had personnel posing as reporters as well as paid freelancers attending to ask questions. It was all a ruse. At the end of the “press conference” the client from Solvay bought it. I didn’t. When I confronted the PR director, she had several excuses as to why none of the news media attended. I knew better. Excuses! At my firm, I have surrounded myself with a staff of former reporters, all of whom have specialized media skills. We are a highly effective group whom our clients can rely on for effective strategies and execution. So if you are tired of hearing excuses from your current PR firm, not to mention the exorbitant fees charged, give us a call and we will provide you with REAL results and no excuses.

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