Let me start off by saying there is nothing admirable about the downward spiral that is the Charlie Sheen saga. We do not condone using drugs—especially the drug “Charlie Sheen.” It will melt your face off. And while the words that come out of Charlie's mouth are altogether nonsense, he does drop a few nuggets that can be useful for those of us in PR. Those of us without tiger's blood, that is.
“Losing is not an option.” A PR professional can easily apply this Charlie quote to his or her work. As my colleague Kathryn recently pointed out, editors will often refuse pitches just to see your reaction. But a PR pro can't just lie down and accept the first denial he hears; getting that story requires you to fight and be persistent. Don't accept losing as an option, and there's a good chance your client will get in that story. “Uh, Winning!”
“You must love, or you must hate, but you must do so violently.” Well, it's probably best to not pitch editors violently; one might end up getting called out publicly, or worse. Not the best approach to building relationships with editors and reporters.
But there is something to this. As my coworker Melissa noted, a PR worker who is passionate about her craft will succeed. Passion shows in the final product. So we recommend love and nonviolence, but being passionate is a lesson we can take from Charlie.
“Newsflash: I am special, and I will never be one of you.” No, I am not advising you to have a monstrous ego. But a unique approach is an asset. Reporters and editors sift through hundreds of pitches for their stories, and to get noticed, a pitch has to stand out. It has to be special. A good pitch refuses to blend in with the rest.
Thank you, Charlie, for all you have taught us. It's been radical.
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