He was a PR manager and spokesperson for Sony Corporation during their pinnacle. He has extensive corporate and agency PR experience and a history of organizing very successful global PR campaigns for Sony, Apple and Pioneer. He has organized some of the most successful launches and PR programs in the history of Silicon Valley. He is Jonathan Hirshon, the Silicon Valley Guru, and in his panel “The Secrets of PR from Silicon Valley” he explained the do’s and don’ts of PR from his perspective as a high-tech PR professional.
Jonathan Hirshon thinks that the professional perception of public relations is not very positive in the world, which is also contributed by the fact that PR utilizes certain aspects of psychology which is often seen as sort of manipulation. Despite those facts, the role of public relation i extremely important because it serves as middle man between the Client and the media and gives the opportunity to present the Client in the right light.
„In order to create and maintain a positive relationship with the press, it is important to understand the way that the press functions, when their deadlines are, how much material they get on a daily basis and what bothers them. Primarily we have to be careful that we don’t overwhelm them with pitches that are not relevant to them. Journalists can receive hundreds of e-mails a day, out of which only a small percentage is relevant, which means our message will not get through to them, and we will be blamed for sending them irrelevant things”, said Hirshon.
In his characteristic humoresque style, Hirshon suggested a set of rules that PR professionals should abide to in order to have a beneficial long-term relationship with the media.
„You always have to consider that your most important Client is the journalist. Not the Clients who booked you and who pay your retainer. The Client will eventually leave, and you have to deal with journalists forever, so it is better to piss off the Client than the journalist who will make your life a living hell whenever he gets a chance. You need to realize that the journalist does not need an entire package full of buzzwords, exaggeration and empty promises, but concrete, relevant and timely information which he or she may find interesting. If you have that and you place it to the journalist in a simple and informative manner, you and your Client will get the desired coverage”, concluded Hirshon.