Matter Chatter

Lessons in PR: Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?

Often we as PR professionals can manage to puff ourselves up…after all we spend our days working with some of the most important reporters in the nation securing targeted, business-driving media opportunities for our clients! It’s no small feat…or is it? Who would have thought a fifth grader could do it!?

Recently, my wife’s elementary school students designed a fundraiser to benefit the Haiti relief efforts. The kids spent hours making little yarn dolls that they sold to raise money. Over the last two weeks, 16 kids made 250 yard dolls which they sold for…wait for it…$1700! So here they find themselves, a bunch of fifth graders holding a pretty sizable wad of cash that they raised pretty much on their own. That 1700 bucks, when it lands in Haiti, could buy a whole lot of food for some folks who have found themselves in a pretty dire situation.

When my wife came home and told me how great the sale had gone, I suggested she call the local paper to get some well deserved attention for the students. I spent half an hour fruitlessly explaining how easy it would be to pitch the story to the local newspaper. Finally, my wife sarcastically noted that if it was so easy then her students could do it! I took her, perhaps, a little too literally and so I jotted down a quick how-to for her students. During one of their classes yesterday, the kids crowded around the classroom computer and put together a pretty darn good pitch to send the local reporter. And in the end, they managed to secure a little publicity for themselves, their gracious effort and their school.

So as I write this post, their little round up piece has been online one entire day. I just recieved an update from my wife that they have already secured pledges for hundreds more in donations and a local business is going to match the funds that the students raise! Ladies and gentlemen, the power of PR!

So my question to all of you PR pro’s out there is…are you smarter than a fifth grader? I’m still deciding on myself, but as of right now I know these kids landed ONE media opportunity from which they can draw a direct line to a 120% increase in gross revenue! How many PR agents can say that?