Media Relations Inc. Rebuts

Note: On May 24th, 2007, a discussion about “pay for performance” media relations began on this site. Today, one practitioner of that model, Media Relations, Inc., responded. Because the response is buried in a month-old discusion, most people wouldn’t see the response under normal circumstances. So, I thought I’d post it for today’s discussion.

You can see the original discussion here.

– Loveland


I’m Lonny Kocina – President and Founder of Media Relations, Inc. I’d like to set the record straight.

As for the former disgruntled employee who calls us Media Irritations, dim bulbs, and claims they didn’t know anything about the clients they worked on—any guesses as to why this person is no longer employed by us?

In response to Jerry Penacoli who says, “I wouldn’t want my brand represented to the media by publicists acting under the threat of Darwinian consequences.” I think you are being melodramatic. We all work under the threat of losing our jobs if we can’t perform them. When I think Darwinian, I think of death and extinction. These people simply find other jobs that fit their skills better.

And Mike—do you really think that a culture that promotes productivity translates as a “sweatshop-like environment” and that aggressively calling the media is “harassing the hell out of journalists?” I’m tired of people like you trying to buffalo folks into thinking PR is some lofty, intellectual quest. It’s not.

For fun I teach marketing at the college level. PR is simply one step in a fairly straightforward marketing process; pick a product; define the market and submarkets; choose a market segmentation strategy; list the features, benefits, and desires; draft a full value position; create a positioning statement; state your desired results; evaluate the channels of the promotional mix based on where the product is in its lifecycle—if it is in the first two stages of the product lifecycle, use reach and teach promotional channels (of which publicity is one), if it is in the second two stages, use reach and touch; and then build content chains that lead to integrated marketing.

There is an artistic flipside to the science of marketing and public relations, but it’s not esoteric. Keep in mind that my company arranges tens of thousands of media stories. I’m speaking based on empirical data, not speculation.

I had to chuckle when Mr. Loveland said. “Is experiencing good PR the only way to understand the full promise of good PR” and you answered, “Maybe it’s the case that experiencing bad PR is the only way to understand good PR.” What gobbledygook.

As for Shecky who thinks I take too much “glee” in publicists quitting my company, I guess I didn’t think people would interpret it as glee. My intent was to point out that our Pay Per Interview Publicity® business model breeds a high-pressure company culture. For some people it’s not a fit, but others thrive on it. The point I was trying to make, and may not have, is that the people who stay with us are truly second to none. They are incredibly productive folks—the kind of people you want representing your product.

You seem like unhappy people to me. Why spend your time dreaming up the worst about things?

Mike, you call us a “cold-calling, dialing-for-dollars, clip-clinging, smile-and-dial, product-pitching sweatshop.” You really have a knack for catchy, hyphenated digs.

Would it change your opinion of us if you knew that last year my staff donated hundreds of hours of work to a nonprofit called WomenVenture? The Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce presented our company, along with The Target Corporation, The Pohlad Family of Companies and FreightMasters, with an award honoring our exceptional community service. We also creatively tie employee awards to a local church and donate thousands of dollars in their names. It’s a way to teach our staff the value of giving to the poor. Last year one of our employees was sick with cancer and every single morning I watched a group of employees gather to pray for her—we encourage people to speak freely about their faith in our company.

If you want to know who we really are, go to our website and look around. Click on our company video and take a look at the people you so casually ridicule.

If I thought negatively as you guys do, I wouldn’t have the wonderful company that I have today. I wonder what opportunities you’ve missed by focusing on what’s wrong, rather than what’s right.

The bottom line is that our company has earned the respect of our clients, the media with whom we work, and our community because it is based on morality and integrity. There is no room for slackers or negativity. We hire bright, energetic people—and unless you’re an ‘A’ player with a positive attitude, you aren’t going to fit in.

You can write what you want from here on out, but don’t expect me to engage in any more conversation. Clients pay us by the placement so I’ve got work to do.


Again, the preceding was Mr. Kocina’s response to a late May discussion you can review here.

– Loveland

One thought on “Media Relations Inc. Rebuts

  1. Lonny, thanks for chiming in and giving us your view of how you work and of the business. We’re aiming for good back-and-forth discussion of issues on this blog, and I appreciate you jumping in here and telling your story.

    I hope that you’ll reconsider — come back for more conversation. We’re trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t, and to have some fun along the way. The more points of view we have, the greater chance we might actually learn something. So come back when you can.


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