The Best PR Person in the Biz?

By John Honovich, Published Sep 20, 2012, 08:00pm EDT

Most trade magazine 'articles' simply cut and paste press releases. Few are generic survey pieces. But every once in a while, an article is so amazing and expertly crafted by a Public Relations (PR) person that even we need to give it kudos.

Such a rare event occurred recently on the pages of SecurityInfoWatch for their coverage of "Unique Camera Technology." What products would be so 'unique' as to merit such high praise?

The Connection?

It turns out that 4 products qualified and, on the surface of this, it might just appear random. What is the connection between Mobotix, MicroPower, Moog and ISD? Perhaps the author was simply focusing on companies starting with the name 'M'?

The Same PR Agency

It is truly fascinating that 3 of the 4 companies covered use the same agency, CompassPR [link no longer available]. This seems to be no accident but almost certainly an expert packaging of 3 clients in the same article.

Leaving ethics and journalistic integrity aside, I am genuinely so impressed that I think I should buy a plaque of this article. While most PR people are worthless, this exception shows the power of PR people working their connections.

Wait, There's More

Plus, in SIW's "Four Very Cool Video Surveillance Technologies," published the following day, 3 out of the 4 companies (NLSS, 3VR and DVTel) cited are CompassPR clients [link no longer available]. Maybe this is just another coincidence or maybe CompassPR has cornered the market on all the innovative companies :)

Win / Win / Lose

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This is a classic win / win / lose proposition:

  • Win - 'Journalist' simplifies research process by getting information from a single source
  • Win - PR agency gets coverage of multiple clients in a single article
  • Lose - Readers get an uncritical, fairly random collection of companies

Such practices are relatively common and, indeed, impact getting coverage in major newspapers as well.

The Death of Security Journalism?

You cannot kill something that has been long dead. While the articles leave out many other obvious choices and is a completely uncritical look, that is totally consistent with security trade magazine standards.

For our industry's practices, I see nothing out of place here, just a powerful PR person doing an outstanding job.

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