“Newest” Tactic to Grab Journalists’ Attention Isn’t New at All

By Debra Zimmerman Murphey and Maury Tobin

Several weeks ago, we watched the news media gush over Hillary Clinton conducting telephone interviews with TV networks and, as longtime PR ninjas, we found the analyses somewhat amusing. In every election cycle, there are always stories about the inside mechanics of campaigns and what strategies are being used to reach voters.

In this case, wall-to-wall coverage of The Donald — who has trumped many a candidate’s zeal for airtime — motivated Clinton to call CNN and other media operations to gain better control over the media narrative.

Tobin Communications pushes back against the flavor-of-the-week thinking that dominates the PR industry

But there seems to be a gap in how this story is being told and what it means. Clinton’s move typifies how savvy communicators work. Indeed, while the options for news dissemination and distribution might be as vast today as Anthony Bourdain’s insight into a plate of food, one-to-one conversations with news opinion-leaders still matter.

And the Clinton campaign gets what Tobin Communications, which has been producing Radio Media Tours (RMTs) for two decades, consistently sees: Even in the social-media frenzy (when messages can be delivered unfiltered with a quick click), speaking to journalists is always relevant.

Listen to our recent interview with Chris Krese, a PR executive with the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, who points out that continually bypassing the news media is prickly. TCI reminds that social media is important, but so are traditional methods and organic media relations.

Debra Zimmerman Murphey is a VP with Tobin Communications and a former senior editor of PR NEWS.

Maury Tobin is the President of Tobin Communications, Inc., a firm he founded in 1996 that provides integrated campaign and digital services. Tobin earned both a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and a Master’s Degree in Public Communication at American University.