Upstream and downstream was the title of a recent blog by Seth Godin, a wise man and business expert who uses the internet to spread interesting ideas.
In this particular blog he talks about taking a look at work that could be done before the point where you are usually brought in and indeed after.
As someone who has been thinking about and delivering quite a lot of pr recently this strikes me as wise advice indeed.
If a client wants publicity, the first thing a professional does is look at the product/service to see what they can shout about. How is the buying public going to benefit and what makes it unique?
If there is no story and no unique selling point, beyond the fact that there is another widget on the market, perhaps we should row up-stream a bit and develop that special something before floating back down-stream to promote it?
Prs and marketers can pull magic tricks, their livelihoods often depend on it but life is far more transparent for everyone involved if there is simply a great, compelling reason why media should want to talk about you in the first place.