Letters to Pipeline

Published: January 31st, 2006

Re: Are sports events a slam dunk with tech journalists? (Jan. 17)

I think you know we’ve held many client briefings (that’s our signal to you that we’re looking to update you on where our client is at…and, if you are interested in following them, and if you are available, you’ll likely come).

A News Conference (that’s our signal that we do indeed have a new something or other to tell you about….assuming you are interested and available, you’ll likely come). Doing a group event happens because many clients have precious little time to meet one-on-one with journalists…and daily skeds being what they are, often don’t lend themselves for journalists to be pulled out of the office (how many times have we heard reporters say…’I’m on deadline” or “Charlie is sick and I’m holding the fort.”

Where possible, we try to do one-on-one journalist meetings our group events in the morning or early afternoon…..occasionally, a group news event becomes a late afternoon gig.

And while we know that’s not necessarily best for daily print or broadcast reporters or virtually anyone with end-of-afternoon deadlines, there are variables.  Recognizing that you can’t please everyone anyway, we do take many things into consideration.
For e.g. if you don’t have a deadline, you might be able to come.

If you work on the subway line, getting you into downtown is easy. If you work in Richmond Hill and the client event is in Mississauga, we can probably count on you not showing up.

Inevitably, we try to do something in a central (read downtown Toronto) location, the ACC and Rogers Centre fit that bill. So does the Hummingbird, Canon Theatre, Roy Thomson Hall, etc.

But why, you mused, at a sporting event?

The pace at a baseball or basketball game allows journalists to talk (and listen) to our clients while the game is progressing, and would you believe, many journalists do like to talk to each other. But if the hockey venue doesn’t work, we would love to be able to do a client news media event at a play, ballet or movie. But sitting quietly in darkness defeats the purpose…because there is so little time to really connect. All we’d wind up doing is taking you out for the evening….and you probably couldn’t accept that….for fear of being compromised.  Heaven forbid!

David Eisenstadt, Partner,

The Communications Group Inc.


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