I have had my share of odd new business calls, and many – especially over the past few years – have ended up with a Pay for Play request. Usually at the end of a long call talking about how we are “the perfect team for the job,” the client drops the inevitable statement saying that they want to “pay based on clip results.” And that is where we end the call.
Just recently, we encountered an even better statement. The prospect of a not so original, not so newsworthy business told me and my colleague that he “did not plan to pay for the trying, just pay for the getting.” This statement followed the prospect’s celebrity name dropping and mention of national TV exposure as a pre-requisite for success. Run, don’t walk, I know. But the “getting not trying” approach is coming up all too often.
At the core of it, the people asking for this don’t understand PR or the way earned media is, well earned. However, the ever growing list of social media platforms, the proliferation of bloggers, too many TV shows looking for products and the increased availability of advertorials is also blurring the church and state line that was once paid and earned media.
This murky world offers up opportunity for providing the right strategy and counsel to brands on the right mix of media. But it also increases the lack of understanding on how PR is done. I am confident that this new business lead found someone willing to work for the “getting not the trying,” but at what cost?