Clawing to escape the belly of the beast here in Hollywood. To commiserate, email my name assistantatlas at yahoo.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

How To Make PR People Your B*tch: 3.28

But first: If you're an assistant and you'd like to tell Atlas about a time that you "Made the Call" that you'd like to be featured on the increasingly-popular "You Make the Call Game"-- please email me at Or, even better, if you're in the planning stages and you'd like to get up-to-the-minute feedback from one of the sassiest, yet classiest, readerships in the blogosphere, I'll keep you anonymous. And that's an Assistant/Atlas promise.

Now, let's turn to today's subject and see how we can turn the wonderful PR people into our b*tches.

God bless people who work in , that glorious field known as PR. The lot of them are either desperately cynical bastards [some] or uncontrollably personable, shiny, happy people [most].

Alternate titles for PR people: Corporate Communications, Media Relations, Media Affairs, Spokesperson, Information Officer, Director of Communications, Assistant Director of Communications, and probably more.

They are responsible for full-time spinning and grinning, for promoting and pimping, for inviting and enticing. And frankly, I don't know how they do it. It may sound easy, but all that relentless promotion and happiness would drive me, and perhaps most people, completely insane after awhile.

And no matter what you do in 'the industry', or even in many other lines of work, you're likely to run into PR people at some point. You may even need them, like we Ho'wood assistants often can. Whether they work for major companies, nightclubs, vodka providers, anything-- friggin' local chambers of commerce. PR people can be fonts of information, if you work 'em right. It's fairly easy, considering that a PR person's job is essentially to spread information.

On , Debi Mazar is a publicist to the stars. She's more glam than most PR people.

Here are some rules to help you make PR people work for you:

1) You are extremely important. If you aren't, fake it. Or say your boss is. But don't give in to them on the importance issue. As soon as your PR person thinks they're more important than you, it's over-- you've lost the PR game, and they'll mentally move on to someone/something else.

2) Speak as fast as you possibly can without sounding like you're on drugs--okay, maybe Paxil or something. The point is, your need is very urgent. As a general rule, PR people have the attention span of fruit flies. You must get to the top of their mental and/or physical list.

3) If possible, be happy back to them, as they like it when you do that. Happy can work for me, but if it doesn't work for you [you can either fake it or actually be happy when you call] then you could just try being authoritative, as that usually works just as well.

4) Don't let them run the conversation-- if they're bored they'll talk your ear off in the name of work. If they're busy, you probably won't get what you want.

That's it really. It's not tough to sweet-talk or bludgeon-talk PR people. Their job is to do all kinds of talking, whatever kind it takes to get the job done. Even if it means writing things down.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where was this post last week when I was playing phone tag with eighty thousand PR people? Argh. But I do like the post, Atlas, even if it's mostly too late to help me.

1:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

PR people are, generally speaking, the most annoying people on the planet. However, I say 'generally speaking' only because I know one who isn't a total douche. One, and only one.

6:20 PM

Blogger Cardinal Biggles said...

I always think about an episode of 'Ab Fab' when Saffy asks Eddy what she really does for a living.

Saffy: So what is it you do for a living?

Eddy: PR!

Saffy: But what is that? What do you do exactly?

Eddy: You know, darling, PR! P! R!

That about sums it up. I think in pure economics, PR would be a black hole.

Mind you, my best friend, whom I'm presiding as 'righteous dude' at her wedding, is a huge PR maven. She was studying to be a brain surgeon in college. Seriously.

10:44 PM

Blogger The Gambino Crime Family said...

I work sometimes as a freelance writer and I absolutely hate having to deal with these people. Hurt them, Assistant/Atlas. Hurt them badly.

5:57 AM

Blogger Jacob Skir said...

Funny, that you can find even more titles for PR people, for instance:
Digital Media Manager
Communications Planning Director
Media and Advertising Coordinator
Director of News and PR
PR Manager
Online Publicist
PR pro (= professional)
PRO (= public relations officer)

12:41 PM


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