One of the reasons a client-to-be will consider retaining our firm is because they think we have great contacts in the media, analyst, and blogging communities.
Not that we don’t, but here is the reality: even in our specialized market that we serve (technology), it’s impossible to know every journalist who covers the space at The Wall Street Journal, PC Magazine, or Gartner Group. Even in nich verticals that we serve such as IP, IPTV, VoIP, wireless, security, or medical devices, the same principle holds true. Then there is the reality that journalists and especially analysts may change beats, focus areas of interest, or just move on to another media outlet or research firm.
Are we well-connected? Yes.
Do we have "good contacts?" Sure.
Can we call a good contact and ask them who we should really pitch a story to? Yup.
Here’s the truth: I would rather have a great story to pitch and no contacts, than plenty of contacts with no story of substance. And even if we had that coveted great contact, I would never abuse that relationship (part of our agency equity) by trying to shove our client down their throat.
Don’t get me wrong. Part of the reason a clients-to-be should consider retaining an agency is because of their contacts. But you should put that in context.
The reason the agency has these good contacts is because they know how to develop a strategy, package a good story, offer it to the right people, in the right sequence, at the right time, — and with substance.
Photo by Alan Weinkrantz (c) 2006