I read with interest a recent article in the New York Times about a giant faux pas on the part of Target. It seems that Amy Jussel, who blogs on the site called Shaping Youth, was told by Target that they didn’t have time for non-traditional media and therefore would not make themselves available to respond her inquiry about a recent ad campaign.
I’m sorry but when did Target become in charge of deciding which members of the media were important which ones weren’t? As far as I’m aware, there is not guide that lists all of the traditional media nor is there a memebership organization or clan that you can join. But I’m being petty.
The more important point here is that this blogger contacted a major household brand (and one of my favorite places to shop) and was told to buzz off. So she wrote about it, as all good bloggers do, and she got picked up by the NYT. Last time I checked, the NYT was a major media outlet and so now because Target couldn’t make time for what they perceived as the little guys, they’ve gotten some ugly PR in the biz section of the NYT.
My point here is not to complain about Target (ok, maybe it is), but to point out the significance of some of the really insignificant things that you do. Every audience has the ability to play a really important part of your PR and media strategy. Businesses who decline to pay attention end up with egg on their face. Businesses who actively engage the blogosphere (and other so-called non-traditional and minor media) may work their way to the front page of the NYT without the help of a humongous Target-sized PR budget.
The conclusion? Make time for the little guys; treat them all as equal players in your PR and media relations strategy. It all adds up.