THE BIG PITCH: Public relations professionals share theirresolutions for the coming year


Media director, Cerrell Associates, Los Angeles

My New Year's resolutions are as follows: Keep in focus the importance

of the family. Mentor someone less fortunate.

Never promise a client guaranteed media coverage. Start-ups and hi-tech

companies pay up front. Don't diet, just eat less at big luncheons.

Always expect the unexpected and I will never be surprised. The only

risk is the one I do not take. Join a new industry-related association

like Motor Press Guild in LA. Start working out and network at the club.

See at least two movies a month with my eight- and 10-year-old sons.

Take at least one reporter out to lunch once a month to obtain feedback.

Attend at least one media meeting a month for trends of pitch

acceptance. Go fishing at least twice a month, even if there are no

fish. Never assume a client is media-trained, and will return media

calls. Respect reporter deadlines and plant pitches earlier. Listen more

passionately, and talk less. Enter well, end well, and all is well in

everything I do.


SVP - Food & Nutrition, Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, Washington,


As someone who specializes in food and nutrition issues, my resolve in

2002 is to anticipate the news and major developments in the field

rather than getting caught up in the PR industry's more familiar

practice of reacting to events in the course of the typical workweek. In

order to be successful, you need to thoughtfully analyze the industry on

a range of issues, including food safety, biotechnology, emerging

consumer trends, agriculture, and health research. Sudden developments

in any of these areas can lead to rapid and dramatic changes in the

marketplace and in the regulatory arena. The high stakes are propelled

by consumers' heightened interest in food and health issues. Insight

becomes our currency as we need to prepare for a range of scenarios in

our areas of expertise. The coming year offers us a new an opportunity

to look at the broader picture in order to provide clients with a

sharper view of the landscape.


PR specialist/spokesperson, TXU Corp, Dallas

2001 was filled with change, both professionally and personally. I was

one of many who were laid off earlier this year from a PR agency that

relied entirely on hi-tech clients. Fortunately, I was blessed with the

immediate opportunity to work in corporate communications for an amazing

company. Since my company is one of the largest energy services

companies in the world, it's been a challenge to learn a new industry.

However, my new colleagues have all been wonderful and supportive in

teaching me the ropes. On September 11, I was reminded of how important

my family and friends are to me, and I was inspired by the strength of

the survivors.

For the upcoming year, I've resolved to do a few simple things. I won't

let work take over my time with family and friends because my job may

not always be there for me. I won't get stressed easily over little

things because others are dealing with more. Finally, I will strive to

make the most out of what life brings me, no matter what.


President, Plesser Associates, New York

It's been an unbelievably wild ride - a period of dynamic change with an

impact that is still very difficult to grasp. As firm principals, we've

had to deal with with aggressive business development outreach, agency

restructuring and consolidation.

With all of this commotion, client services often became secondary - a

big mistake for any agency, large or small. My resolution for the coming

year is to get back to basics. Public relations is, above all else,

about giving clients the support and guidance that they need in order to

be successful. It's a goal that can sometimes seem impossible to

achieve, particularly during the present tumultuous business cycle, but

in the end, it's how we measure the value we provide for our clients and

our own success as PR professionals. Thus, my mantra for the New Year:

Tune out the noise, get back to basics, and remember that clients come


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