For over a decade I've literally been "tooting my own horn." Press releases for Jeff Fisher LogoMotives accomplishments and announcement have consistently had the header "Toot! Toot!*" with a notation to the tagline "*If I don't "toot!' my own horn, no one else will."
The unique public relations identification has tied in well to my business name and identity - bringing my press missives to the attention of numerous editors and writer's of several magazine articles and books. The "Toot Toot!" has often been exhibited as a successful marketing and promotion method. I even wrote about it in my first book, The Savvy Designer's Guide to Success: Ideas and tactics for a killer career. I've been asked to speak about my PR tools to a variety of business and design groups over the past ten years.
The press release format has been used when mailing hard copies to publications and emailing the information to editors, writers, design industry peers, clients, former and potential clients, friends, family and more 11 or 12 years. I've also used the same "Toot! Toot!" on press releases distributed online through a wide variety of resources including Prweb.com, PRleap.com, FastPitchNetworking.com, CreateMagazine.com, HOWDesign.com and many others - including PR.com. There has never been any issue with my unique press release heading and tagline - until a recent PR.com submission with the heading "Toot! Toot!*: TCG eZine Publishes Jeff Fisher Interview."
PR.com had previously posted my "Toots!" without any problems. I was surprised last week when I got notification that my latest release would not be posted and distributed due to the following explantion:
Press releases should not be whimsical in nature. Therefore, our editorial department will be unable to continue approving releases that contain the phrase "Toot! Toot!*" in the title, and the explanation "(* If I don’t "toot!" my own horn, no one else will)" in the body of the release. Please remove this text from your title and the body of your release.
Whimsical? There was nothing "whimsical" about my "Toot! Toot!" With the my releases having been accepted previously, with no request for alterations, I was especially annoyed. I jetted off an email to PR.com that read it part:
I'm sorry that you will no longer accept press releases with my "Toot! Toot!" in the subject as that is a major part of my marketing efforts and has been for over a decade. I will no longer be using the services of PR.com.
I really didn't expect any kind of response. I was surprised when I received another email from PR.com. This one, with a disclaimer that informing me that "unauthorized use, disclosure or copying of this communication, or any part thereof, is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful," informed me (and I'm just paraphrasing here) that I must remove my "Toot! Toot!" - but could retain the "(* If I don't "toot!" my own horn, no one else will.)" line - which would no longer make any sense. Hmmm...
I sent off another response to PR.com:
Thank you for taking another look at the issue. However, there is nothing whimsical about my "Toot! Toot!" at all. It's a serious part of my marketing and PR strategy, and something I speak about at design an business conferences on a regular basis. I'll simply be making use of other avenues for my press release distribution. Had it been disallowed initially, when I submitted earlier releases, I would have not used the services of PR.com at all.
This time I got no response - and didn't really expect one.
I will continue make use of my "Toot! Toot!" press releases in a wide variety of distribution methods. From the very beginning, my "Toots!" were created to set my business - and news about Jeff Fisher LogoMotives - apart from others using standard press releases as a promotion tool. I'm not going to take what I see as a giant step backwards for my business to be a conformist. Much of the success of my design business over the years has been due to not conforming to the norm when it comes to self-promotion.
As the old Jeffism says:
"It's not that I don't play well with others; it's just that I want to choose where, when and with whom I play."
© 2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives