This week on Inside PR, Terry and David have a discussion on the three most dreaded letters in the PR industry: RFP. They have a short chat about the Edelman/Wal-Mart case, and Terry talks about his and Chris’ time at Fanshawe College, about which they welcome a comment from Megan Zinn. They also play Chris Clarke‘s comment for this week. Finally, Terry does his segment of “Inside PRoper English.”

Show Notes

00:27 Terry introduces the show. He invites listener feedback through email at [email protected], the comment line at 206-600-4741, or comment on the Inside PR show blog.

02:10 Terry talks about a comment to the show blog from Megan Zinn. Part of her comment relates to Terry and Chris’ visit to Fanshawe College. Here is the link to the class blog.

03:58 David brings up Garth Turner, who has been painted as an MP fired for blogging. Terry contends that he was not fired for blogging, but for what he said on his blog, which if said elsewhere, in an interview or op-ed or elsewhere, would have led to the same result anyway.

08:59 David mentions that Terry and he had dinner with Joseph Jaffe and C.C. Chapman in Toronto last Thursday night. They talk about their new company, called crayon.

13:10 David brings up the Edelman/Wal-Mart situation. He feels that Edelman’s spokesbloggers could have said something, even if it was nothing more than letting interested parties know that they’re looking into the situation. David also says that he wonders why a policy wasn’t put in place after their last mistake. Terry talks about how big Edelman is and how that relates to the problem.

21:17 Terry brings up this week’s major topic for discussion: the request for proposal, or RFP. Terry doesn’t believe that the RFP process regularly accomplishes the goal the client has in mind: to find the best agency for the job.

22:50 David can understand why clients use RFPs. He says that the best agency is probably the busiest, and that the busiest agency might be too busy to submit a proposal. He talks about the one time he put out an RFP during his time on the client side of PR, which turned out to not be an RFP at all.

26:28 Terry talks about how a written proposal cannot convey intangibles, like team chemistry and creativity. He says that it’s a ton of work for the agency, and offers an example of how one RFP he worked on did not win the business, because it turned that the RFP was just a cover to legitimize the selection of the agency the client had wanted to hire in the first place.

30:24 David and Terry offer advice to clients on how to put out RFP’s to make life easier for both clients and agencies alike. Terry invites any comments from listeners about RFPs.

32:50 Terry introduces and plays Chris Clarke‘s segment for the week.

36:40 Inside PRoper English for the week: enervate.

37:56 David closes the show and invites listener comments: through email at [email protected], on the comment line at 206-600-4741, or comment on the Inside PR show blog. Also, they welcomes listeners to the Inside PR Blubrry site.

Music: our theme music is Streetwalker by CJacks, and is from the Podsafe Music Network; Roger Dey is our announcer.


  1. Hey Guys. Great show.

    I differ with your opinion, though, about the implications of Garth Turner’s expulsion.

    I would suggest that it was the influence and authority that he gained through his strategic use of social media that put him in the position to say what he said. Obviously he could have said it in print just as easily, that goes without saying.

    What is _different_ is that he has new vehicles to speak directly to his constituents in an unfiltered way, and reach a large audience without needing to rely on the party brand.

    I would suggest that Mr. Turner used his blog strategically, with a complete understanding of its implications. He knew that even if he was kicked out he still had a way to reach a large audience, and is leveraging this new power.

  2. Terry Author

    Hey Ian, very good point you raise. I can’t disagree with you. I’m seldom as clear as I’d like to be when I hit the “Record” button for IPR but my view was simply that Garth’s blog was merely the vehicle for his views, not the reason for his caucus expulsion. Your point however is well-taken. His blog is a particularly powerful and strategic vehicle for his message and his ability to reach his constituents and broader readers directly, and with complete control, clearly contributed to his fate. Thanks for the thoughtful comment and for listening.

  3. This is kind of an interesting time to bring it up, since you all are so busy.

    But have you ever considered adding more music to the show? FIR does it, of course, and I think the way they handle it is distracting, not to mention their choice of music is at some times awful.

    But I was likening your “Inside PRoper English” and I was thinking music may pep it up a bit. Add a little funny. I liken it to the Oddball segment of the Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC (I don’t know if you watch it; it’s an American news show.)

    Just a thought. The show is great; don’t get me wrong. I like it and will keep listening. It was just something that struck me as way to improve.

  4. Greetings Terry & David,

    Great discussion on IPR #30 about Garth Turner’s dismissal from the Conservative caucus. I’m not so sure, though, that his methods of communication, namely his blog, had nothing to do with his firing. Blogs can give a lot of power to the individual, and take away a significant amount of control from institutions, such as political parties. Stephen Harper, Canada’s prime minister, has shown clearly that he wants to maintain strict control over all of his party’s communications. To my mind, it’s not much of a stretch seeing Harper react more harshly to Turner saying things in his blog than he would have reacted to him saying the same things in a letter to the editor. I think that social media may make some, like Harper, who’d prefer to circle the wagons, nervous. Although not the cause, perhaps this was a contributing factor leading up to Turner’s removal.

    As ever, I’m grateful for the show and eagerly awaiting the next episode.



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