What is your PR agency saying about you?

David Smith wonders why PR isn’t always as smooth as it should be.
Publish date:
Social count:

I've been running ToyTalk since 2006, and that means I have worked with dozens, perhaps even hundreds of PR people.

The best ones make this job a joy (and really very easy). They are among the most enthusiastic people in the industry, always pleased to see you at events, always happy to talk or respond to an email, always looking for ways to help you do your own job better – all of which leads to more coverage for their clients, so everybody wins.

One of the hard lessons I’ve learned, however, is that not every PR person is one of the best.

For every polished press release we receive (basically making it possible to have a story live on ToyTalk very quickly), we receive less polished ones.

We’ve had press releases that don’t talk about any products, just undefined ranges with no specific details. We’ve been teased with mention of ‘many other great toys in this range’, and left dangling (quick tip: press releases should never tease). We’ve read about great toys, only to find ourselves wondering when they are going on sale, or how much they will cost.

All of this means you have to go back to the PR person for more information, and that’s like putting a hurdle between the product and media coverage.

Don’t assume that every website or publication will be willing to jump that hurdle – they may be feeling lazy that day, or just have many other, easier options to write about.

Tragically, even with the best PR people, it pays not to get too attached to them because chances are they’ll have moved on in a couple of years and you’ll be starting from scratch with a new account manager.

This shouldn’t be a big issue – but it is.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve built up a great relationship with a brilliant PR person, only to suddenly find that the press releases have inexplicably dried up.

It sometimes takes weeks or even months to find out that a new account manager has taken over, or a new agency is now handling that particular toy company’s PR.

This isn’t a complicated business. We (and many other media outlets) want to write about your toys.

Every now and then, it’s worth checking that your PR people realise that.

Agree with David? Let us know in the comments section below.


kid tv resize 2.jpg

All about the ad

Ever been suckered into shelling out for a movie by a cynically produced trailer? David Smith has and wonders if some toy advertising is now going the same way.

0 Virtual Reality.png

Use VR for PR

Rebecca Oatley, managing director at Cherish PR, explains why toy firms should be open to using Virtual Reality technology when it comes to marketing their latest ranges.

Moulders of men

David Smith commemorates some genuine giants in the world of one his favourite childhood playthings: toy soldiers.

Featured Jobs

Vivid Job Logo 620 x 349

Digital Marketing Executive - Toys & Games

Vivid is Britain’s biggest toy company and the 20 largest in the world. With offices across the globe, they sell an amazing portfolio of toys and games to over 60 countries. Vivid is best known for its association with blockbuster brands and is very excited about future opportunities around the world.


UK Sales Agents

Liberty House Toys have been appointed as the exclusive UK distributor for the BiOBUDDi brand, and we are pleased to introduce this new unique, innovative and exciting range of 100% environmentally-friendly toy building blocks. We are seeking experienced sales agents with existing network in the toy retail market.

Gameplan Job Logo 620 x 349

Head of Product Development & Marketing

Our client is a privately owned French toy and games manufacturer which sells through distributors in forty countries. The company develops and sells innovative electronic interactive toys and games for the educational and gaming markets, and also takes suitable licenses. To progress its successful business development a Head of Product Development & Marketing is to to recruited.

HIT Entertainment Job Logo 620 x 349

Licensing Systems Administrator

The Contract System Coordinator is a newly created role to support the deal term entry process into Mattel’s new Contract Management System for its Licensing business. The role will support the Business Teams at the Deal & Amendment phase of the contracting process and act in conjunction with the System Administration team.