A flak trend, increased and exacerbated by lockdown, is the move to entirely transactional PR.
So the flak emails: are you writing a story about Abc and would you like to quote my client who says Xyz?
Sometimes my answer is, I’m not, but I do need to know a couple of experts in that area, why not let me have a chat with him to see where we might go in future….
(I also don’t want to use quotes you have sent to Absolutely Everyone.)
Here’s what typically happens after my request: nothing. The flak or the client can’t be bothered. Take it or leave it, they seem to be saying.
What the hack wants is to build a relationship with the expert, eventually so we can cut the flak entirely out of the picture (don’t feel hurt, your work has been done).
I also want to get a sense of who this guy is before I start putting his name in the paper. Is he really an authority? Has he got prison convictions for fraud? Did he just go through a really messy divorce with my editor?
I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say Transactional PR is on the up, as if flaks imagine hacks to be little more than cut and paste machines.
We’re trying not to be.