By Mark Macias
East or West Coast – is there an advantage to choosing a San Francisco PR firm versus a PR firm in NYC?
In today’s world, publicists are able to pitch reporters from anywhere. Few publicists meet reporters in person so an office in New York, Miami or San Francisco shouldn’t provide an edge when it comes to pitching stories to journalists. However, there is a large advantage to being on East Coast time if you are pitching national news outlets.
Look at it this way: if you’re a publicist in LA, beginning your day at 9am, you’ve pretty much lost half the day with reporters in New York. Many reporters in New York, Boston (or any city on the East Coast) go to lunch around noon, just about the time when publicists in LA or San Francisco are getting to work.
Making it even more challenging for PR firms in San Francisco or LA, most reporters are under deadline after 3:30pm EST, so you don’t want to pitch them a story in the late afternoon.
Do the math and you’ll see a publicist in LA or San Francisco has only 2.5 hours to get a story in front of reporters, while a publicist in New York competes on the same time zone.
I can already feel the heat coming from publicists in California who will say they work later than people in New York. True – but as a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York, I will tell you a publicist is wasting his or her time by pitching a story to reporters outside of work. No reporter or TV producer wants to read his work email at 7pm, which is only 4pm in California.
PR Firms on East Coast Time Have an Advantage
In addition, most news cycles only have a shelf-life of 24 hours. If there is a story that develops overnight, our team learns about it while we are getting ready for work. If we can position our clients into the news, our team is pitching that story to journalists before the morning news meetings. This is roughly the same time that publicists in California are hitting their snooze buttons.
I say that in a snarky way, but there is truth to the news cycle running on East Coast time zone. Even the entertainment TV shows, like Extra and Access Hollywood work on East Coast time. I have many former colleagues who work on those entertainment shows in LA and they loathe their morning meetings that take place at 5:30am – local time.
But what about tech startups who want to reach Silicon Valley? Yes – it will help being in the Bay area, but a PR firm in NYC can pitch stories just as easily to tech reporters and time the pitch so it hits their inbox as tech writers are logging onto their computers.