Media contacts say, “save the gifts, send good pitches”—but that doesn’t mean you should stop sending them anyway
Reporters routinely slam the PR swag that shows up on their desks—railing against its cost, the whiff of bribery and general uselessness. Send us a great story, they say, and you don’t need to attach it to a mouse pad or a box of chocolates. (Some media contacts may take offense at being bombarded with costly goodies—see this issue’s cover about a Modesto Bee writer who got huffy about cheesecakes.)
However, when swag is well thought-out, inexpensive, and adds a memorable spin to a story, it can work. Here are some success stories:
Gummy rats in coffins: In a previous PR job, Brenda Christensen, now director of PR for Panda Software, worked with the owner of the Beverly Center shopping mall in Beverly Hills. Rats from a neighboring construction site had invaded the mall, “and you can imagine how it bothered these lovely ladies in their Mercedes, being confronted by rats,” Christensen says. Faced with bad publicity, the center shipped in a top exterminator to rid itself of the rodents.