Monday, August 29, 2016

Dear Publicist

As someone fortunate enough to have a following in the media I get a lot of people looking to get quoted. They are the lifeblood of any journalist, even one such as me who does about 99% of his own analysis. After all, how better to drive home a point then to quote someone who is a true expert on the topic.

When a publicist puts me on their distribution list all I see in my inbox is blah, blah, blah. I am not going to read your missives and I certainly do not want to wade through your clients' big fancy titles before getting to the point. Or the fact that they advise hedge funds, banks, brokers and high net worth clients.  So does everyone who contacts me.

Right now, I have my email filters set to shunt all mail from publicists, whether independent or part of a firm's marketing group, into a separate folder that fills up away from my viewing eyes. I'll check it every once in a while to see if there is anything of value. There rarely is.

Years ago, I taught a workshop at the Market Technicians Assoc annual seminar about dealing with the media. You want to get your name out there? Here is how to do it.

And now I have the same advice for you publicists. Give me something quick and give me something unique. Do not send me a report. Do not ask if I need a quote from so and so. I don't.

Do understand what I cover. I would be quite amenable to a publicist asking me what I need in broad brush strokes. But when you think about it, it will be what your client is best known for doing or analyzing in a way nobody else does.

If I have a question on short interest, I would go to the guy who runs the website called "the short squeeze." If I needed the VIX, I'd head there. If I need something on a particular indicator I would go to the person who's name is on it. Or who wrote the follow-up book on it.

There are plenty more things that people can be "the expert" on from social analysis to assets held in ETFs to cycles to even double reverse whirligigs (a friend made up that last one). How about international? or commodities? or railroad car utilization? or crop yields?

Yes, a lot of that looks fundamental but it can be presented in charts with correlation to the markets.

One more thing, speak English. Simple words, easy to understand concepts. The less digestion I have to do the easier it will be for me explain to to my readers.  Not everyone has a degree in analysis.

Yeah, I sound like a jerk. But you and I both want the same thing - for readers to read us. I am not here to promote you. But if it makes my stories better you can be sure I will do my best to get you in there.