Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hard times hit our friends in the press

Everyone probably knows by now that the Express-News staff suffered major layoffs yesterday.

We pitched stories to them and their work often helped make us look good to our bosses and clients, so a bunch of PR professionals, led by Debi Pfitzenmaier and Michelle Autenreith Brown, wants to do something to help the reporters transition to the next step, whatever it may be.

Here's how it will work:
Much like what was done in NYC when Wall Street started the massive lay-offs, a small group of people led by Debi Pfitzenmaier are trying to coordinate a Flacks and Sacked lunch.

A PR person reaches out to a victim of the lay-offs who they know or pitched, invites them to lunch and covers the cost of the lunch along with their own. In turn, the reporter has a chance to network.
The event has been tentatively scheduled for Monday, March 23, at 11:30 a.m., place TBA. If you are interested, e-mail Michelle at to RSVP. If you have already invited a reporter, please let her know at that time. If you would like to help but don't feel you know anyone well enough to invite him or her, let Michelle know that too and she will match you with someone.

I've been on both sides of this fence - the laid off and the left behind. In either case, you are left wondering if (or when) the next shoe will drop, and just how big it will be. If you are one of the laid-off, it really helps to know that your friends are thinking of you.