PR Firm Stacks Former Security Editors

By: Carlton Purvis, Published on Aug 09, 2013

CompassPR [link no longer available], whose clients [link no longer available] include Tyco, Genetec, Siemens and Mobotix, is poised to become the most powerful PR agency in the security industry after adding one of the most well-known security trade magazine editors to its roster.

Deborah O'Mara, former editor-in-chief and managing director of Security Dealer and Integrator Magazine, joined CompassPR recently, according to her updated LinkedIn profile [link no longer available]. The new entry says she will work as the agency’s editorial director.

This addition bolsters a PR team already made up of former trade magazine editors from Security Director News, the former editor-in-chief of Access Control & Security Systems magazine and the former managing editor of Security Products magazine.

Calls to CompassPR about the addition were not returned. 

Smart Strategy

It is common for former reporters and editors to leave journalism for PR, a more lucrative profession that requires similar skills and where you can still use your existing relationships. However, this can impact even current editors who recognize career advancement comes from eventually being hired by the companies they cover or their paid PR agencies.

From a PR perspective, it is a smart strategy. A good PR team, gets its clients quoted, case studies printed and face time with editors at trade shows. Who best knows the way get ideas from pitch to publication than former editors? Their connections to the magazines give them leverage and rapport to get clients’ information printed. For example, when Micropower, a niche wireless manufacturer and CompassPR client, raised $5.6 million it was covered by almost every security trade magazine. Dropcam raised $30 million the same week but was not covered by them (though see our Dropcam funding discussion). PR companies with close ties to magazines strongly improve the likelihood of getting favorable coverage.

And CompassPR is not the only agency who recognizes this -- the Eclipse Media Group team is former editors of Security Systems News, Security Director News and Ventas de Seguridad.

PR Agencies Do More than Article Placement 

Depending on the account, they are managing social media accounts, tracking web statistics, scheduling speaking engagements, measuring the impact of negative events, and building databases of media contacts and lists of events.

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

But Firms Judged By Quantity 

Despite the scope of their work, getting published in magazines or on websites is often the standard by which clients measure an agency's effectiveness and getting published in print is much more coveted than online (especially with security companies where print is still popular among readers). In my time at a trade magazine, PR people would always want to know if a piece would be published online or in print. These pieces essentially work as free advertisements where a single page ad would cost thousands. 

Content Quality Will Suffer

It is no secret that the print industry is struggling and publications are cutting staff. PR agencies know this and fill the void with prepared content that often gets published without any scrutiny. For the end users and readers it means they will be subjected to less original, insightful content and pages filled with stories put together based on relationships rather than what is best for their needs or the industry. This also means almost no analysis or critical dialogue about claims made by companies. 

For manufacturers, if you are not a major advertiser or paying CompassPR, it might just get harder to get covered.

UPDATE October 2013

Just 3 months later, Deborah Omara has left CompassPR, according to her LinkedIn Profile [link no longer available].

Comments (9) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on Trade Magazine

"At Hikvision, We Build Trust" on Jan 03, 2019
Hikvision has joined a growing number of video surveillance manufacturers marketing their trustworthiness. In a recent trade magazine full page ad...
SSN Publisher Quits, Starts New Print Trade Magazine on May 11, 2018
[link no longer available] After a decade as the publisher and face of Security System News (SSN), Tim Purpura [link no longer available] has...
Bogus Research Plus Lazy Reporting - SSI And 'Global Market Insights' Examined on May 07, 2018
If you wonder why there is so much obviously wrong information online (factually, not simply disagreeing on opinions), this is a great example of...
The Yolo Bro And The Death of Journalism on Apr 24, 2018
There's an old quote: The job of the newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable Unfortunately, the opposite is more...
Security Trade Magazine Readership Statistics on Jul 10, 2017
150 IPVM members reported how many and what security trade magazines they read, both in print and online. Here are the key findings: Most do...
Get End User Leads for Just $997 A Month on Aug 31, 2016
Scam or opportunity? As trade mags continue to suffer from the decline of print media, they are scrounging for new ways to make money. Rather than...
Hikvision Hires Trade Magazine Editor on Aug 17, 2016
Hikvision PR challenges are increasing as understanding of the company's ownership by the Chinese government broadens and concerns about the...
Trade Mag Admits 84% Prefer Online Over Print on Feb 05, 2016
Some say the industry is so old and conservative that print is still important. Well, even a print trade magazine is now admitting this is no...
Ralph Jensen Defends Lots of Gifts From Manufacturers on Sep 18, 2015
Some trade magazine editors quietly take gifts from manufacturers. Others flaunt it. Ralph Jensen [link no longer available] is the...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Access Control Door Controllers Guide on Oct 22, 2019
Door controllers are at the center of physical access control systems connecting software, readers, and locks. Despite being buried inside... Acquires OpenEye on Oct 21, 2019 is targeting commercial expansion and now they have a commercial cloud VMS with the acquisition of OpenEye. In this note, based on...
Government-Owned Hikvision Wants To Keep Politics Out Of Security on Oct 21, 2019
'Politics' made Hikvision the goliath it is today. It was PRC China 'politics' that created Hikvision, funded it, and blocked its foreign...
Integrated IR Camera Usage Statistics 2019 on Oct 21, 2019
Virtually every IP camera now comes with integrated IR but how many actually make use of IR or choose 'super' low light cameras without IR? In...
Alarm Veteran "Demands A Criminal Investigation" Of UL on Oct 18, 2019
The Interceptor's Project pressure against UL continues to rise. Following Keith Jentoft's allegation that "UL Has Blood On Their Hands", Jentoft...
Camect "Worlds Smartest Camera Hub" Tested on Oct 18, 2019
Camect is a Silicon Valley startup that claims the "Smartest AI Object Detection On The Market", detecting not only people and vehicles, but...
Hikvision Global News Reports Directory on Oct 17, 2019
Hikvision has received the most global news reporting of any video surveillance company, ever, ranging from the WSJ, the Financial Times, Reuters,...
Camera Calculator V3.1 Release Improves User Experience on Oct 17, 2019
IPVM has released a new version of our Camera Calculator, V3.1, with significant user experience improvements, a new development plan, and an...
Securing Access Control Installations Tutorial on Oct 17, 2019
The physical security of access control components is critical to ensuring that a facility is truly secure. Otherwise, the entire system can be...
Access Control Course Fall 2019 - Last Chance on Oct 17, 2019
Register Now - Fall 2019 Access Control Course. Thursday, October 17th is the last day to register. IPVM offers the most comprehensive access...