This morning we caught up with Selig to talk about his move from journalism to PR and why he takes on controversial clients like former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.
PRNewser: You used to work in TV news, and started a PR business on the side. Now that you’re full time in PR, do you enjoy it more than journalism?
Selig: I love it. I really enjoy what I’m doing and I don’t miss news at all. But then I’m still sort of involved with the news. I’m in it from a different angle. It’s not like it’s not exciting and different every day. All the challenges and excitement that news brought, what I’m doing now brings it as well.
PRNewser: You were working on a news wire on the side, specifically. How is PRNewsChannel different from other offerings on the market?
Selig: What we’re trying to do is offer an outlet that’s more affordable to small businesses. I look at what PRNewswire, Business Wire offer and they obviously do a good job, but I find their prices to be incredibly high for what they do. We offer an alternative that gives small businesses an opportunity to reach news makers and get their message out online. Are the others bigger? Absolutely.
We do about seven to ten press releases a day, it varies. We have regular clients. The goal has never been to be big. The goal has always been to offer customer service that others can’t possibly offer. We’ll review everything they send in, catch typos, grammatical mistakes, or suggest headlines that could work better.
PRNewser: Getting back to your agency, what makes you want to take on controversial clients?
Selig: They’re controversial simply because they’ve been accused of doing something wrong. Just because they are accused doesn’t mean they did something wrong. Somewhere along the line, we lost that people are innocent until they are proven guilty. Personally I find it disgusting.
It’s a judgement call on the part of media to find someone guilty when they have not been proven so. It should be the system that probes them guilty, not media. That is my job, to level the playing field, it isn’t to make someone into something that they’re not.
PRNewser: Have those big clients helped you win other work?
Selig: I’m sure that it has. I would like to think we’re doing a really good job with these high profile jobs, and I’m sure there are also people who don’t want to go to us, who think we represent people they don’t want to be associated with. I enjoy what we’re doing and I think it’s a really important job.
PRNewser: How do you decide which clients to take and which ones to pass up?
Selig: It isn’t an easy answer. You have to look at every case and decide whether it is something you want to be associated with. Not everything that comes our way is the right fit or appropriate given other clients. Many cases that we turned down were not the right fit.
PRNewser: Geraldo Rivera called you a “sleazy PR guy.” Does it bother you when the media attacks you?
It sort of comes with the turf, everybody postures and says what they want. You can’t let stuff like that bother you. At the end of the day, we’re doing as a company what I think is the right thing to do. You look after the best interests of your clients. People have problems with defense attorneys. People have problems with a lot of jobs.
PRNewser: What’s next for Rod Blagojevich?
He’s focused now on the trial, which is supposed to begin in June. He will be doing other interviews before then. He will continue to speak out whether to a person on the street or a media outlet that he did nothing wrong and that he has been wrongly accused.