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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Apr 12

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4/12/2013 7:20 AM  RssIcon

What does a company PR person do at NAB? Well, among a few thousand other things like issuing press releases, these masters of the relations part of the “PR” acronym, these people have to actually get the press to show up at the scheduled event.

For you see, even if these professionals (not the “P” in PR) do manage to get the press releases written and released, even if they do properly schedule the room, and arrange for food and beverage, they still have to “get” the often-times cantankerous press to show up. If only a few reporters actually appear at the appointed time, in the correct room, then all hell breaks loose.

First, the company president of CEO is going to question the wisdom of continuing the employment of this person, with his expensive affair is about to be witnessed with only a few, perhaps not even the important ones, who are there. You see, there’s an unspoken truth that come of those actually claiming the badge of “press” only know how to spell the word, they don’t actually “do” anything important with whatever information they manage to pick up. For them, it’s mostly a game of “show” and “go”.

Anyways, you see, getting all these press people from company A’s press conference to company B’s press conference often involves arranging for transportation. There’s the rub.

Las Vegas hotels can hide busses better than their casinos hide restrooms. So, while company A’s press conference was in the Ambassador’s wing of the Caesar’s West tower on floor 6, Ballrooms A and B, the press conference for the company B’s beleaguered PR person is in an entirely different hotel.

So, the dilemma becomes, how to get the press from hotel one to hotel two. That requires these hidden busses.

The often-used practice is to have a young hopeful—to-someday-be-a-PR person to stand just outside the press conference of company A with a sign showing the logo of company B. The goal is for the press people to see the logo, and follow, much like the rats (no similarity implied) followed the Pied Piper of Hamelin, and so on to the awaiting buses.

But, a serious problem can occur if company B fails to have a Pied-Piper in the proper location at the appointed time. Then, as occurred today, several dozen reporters end up roaming aimlessly around a huge casino looking for this Pied Piper and the buses.

Fortunately, the press people are friendly types and do tend to support one another. So this time, a British scribe eventually located the UK-based PR Pied Piper, who was standing near the bus parking lot. Never mind that didn’t help those of us who were lost.

It eventually worked out okay, the press finally were transported to the second event. But to all concerned (PR types and the press), it must have resembled the challenge of herding cats, which I’m told cannot be done. Company B’s PR person would probably agree with me.

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