Terry Stanley Tells Us Why You Might Not Be Getting Press As A Brand
Many of the attendees at Outpost are there to connect with “media and influencers” – but who is that exactly? Well, Terry Stanley is one (or both?) of them. With 30 years of furiously-paced journalism behind her, Stanley has influenced the point of view of millions of readers with articles about marketing and advertising, entertainment and pop culture, startups and Fortune 100 companies. As a veteran print and digital journalist, Stanley treats the reporting business like a full-contact sport. After graduating from Columbia, Stanley came up in a world of journalism before the Internet in what were male-dominated press rooms. She now can be found on any given day writing for Adweek, L.A. Times, DGA Quarterly, Emmys.com and then heading over to the gym to teach a killer boot camp. We sat down with her at the Outpost Trade Retreat at The Fort at Mammoth Mountain to hear some of her story and her point of view as a journalist.
Stanley has stayed successful over the years by pitching the stories that no one else was pitching. In her 20+ year relationship with the AdWeek family, they now come to her for trending stories and new ways to connect the dots in the barrage of information available to us all day, every day. “There’s a story around every corner” is an age-old truism, but in today’s deluge of content it’s the stories with quality observations and consideration that gets shared around on our feeds. So amongst all the click-bait headlines out there, Stanley strives to ensure that her smart-ass commentary gets published via syndicated channels and cuts to the bone of the cultural zeitgeist we are all hurdling through together.
“Brands have a responsibility, and it’s never been more obvious. How they handle that is under a microscope… I don’t envy them.” – Terry Stanley
At the Outpost Retreat in 2017, Stanley hosted an interactive workshop called “Your Brand in Crisis,” that also spoke to the importance of consideration, specifically the lack thereof by brands and their agencies. Attendees of this unique panel were broken up into three groups, then shown slides depicting the latest PR disasters of the year like the Kendall Jenner Pepsi commercial, the United Airlines passenger removal, the Google engineer rant, and many more. Each group then roll played as 1) the brand defending its actions 2) the trolls attacking and 3) the consumers point of view. As the panel continued the whole group began to share personal moments of brand crisis that were avoided at the last second or dealt with the best efforts they could muster. The point was made.
Lastly, we encourage any of you looking to get press for themselves or their brand’s latest and greatest to listen to Terry’s story and the tips for brands and publicists that are baked into the commentary. All of which circle around a major theme: consideration. Consideration for the person receiving your pitch, who they are, what they have written, and how this pitch may be of interest to them. Consideration about how your pitch fits the magazine’s purpose or mission to its audience. Consideration that “Embargoed” and “Exclusive” are turn offs to many contributors and editors rather than selling points. As easy as it can seem to hit “send” on a baked email packed full of your desire to get traffic to your website and social channels, consider that reading that email is still time for the person helping you get the message out there, and their inbox is swamped with similar stories.
Conclusion: Be more considerate and collaborate with the media rather than just blasting them with more noise.
For more of witty commentary and tips to bigger articles you can folder her on twitter: @TLStanleyLA
Or check out her LinkedIn feed, which has all her stories from all publications: @tlstanley
Here’s three of her latest articles:
More from Stanley at #OutpostTrade from the “COMMERCE CONTENT: The future of media” panel available here soon.
Podcast hosted and produced by Michael Coleman.
Cover photo by @candymountaincollective.