Post by Adriana Van Duyn, Account Supervisor, Bianchi PR
Things were quite a bit different 25 years ago! In 1992, Bill Clinton became president … Minnesota’s Mall of America, spanning 78 acres, was constructed … and Bianchi PR was founded.
The PR world was also a bit different back then. In celebration of Bianchi PR’s 25th anniversary, we created a list of some of the biggest changes in the way we work since the agency’s beginning. Enjoy!
1. We pitched via phone … and mail! Email has made the entire media relations process much more efficient.
2. We spent half the day on the phone, playing phone tag, trying to reach reporters or clients.
3. News releases were mailed, tri-folded in envelopes, to media or, if extremely urgent, faxed.
4. We printed a LOT more and spent a ton of money on ink.
5. When we needed to create a media list, we pulled out our massive Bacon’s Media Directories and created our media lists by hand.
6. And our Bacon Directories were huge green books; not today’s online media database.
7. Press kits weren’t electronic, but folders full of printed copy. These were especially fun when we had to bring large quantities to trade shows.
8. Timesheets were completed by hand on paper forms.
9. Product photos were sent as paper reprints, 35mm slides or 4×5 color transparencies instead of JPGS, so turnaround time was much longer.
10. We saved our work to floppy disc, as USBs weren’t available yet.
11. We would photocopy, then cut and paste our media clips together for clients. Then present them to our clients at the end of the year in large folder or binders.
12. If you missed a call, you received a pink “While You Were Out” message slip with the message details instead of a voicemail.
13. Rolodexes! There were no virtual social networks, synchronized address books and smartphones, so a person’s Rolodex houses their contact lists.
14. Without smartphones, we only checked our email at the office during business hours.
15. We used Franklin Planners instead of online meeting requests and calendar reminders to record and schedule meetings.
16. We ordered tons of reprints for client coverage instead of mocking it up and sharing it electronically like we to today.
17. No Facebook! No Twitter! No LinkedIn! No YouTube! No social media at all. Enough said.
18. There we no digital editions of magazines, so we would monitor hundreds of pages of text for our clients each month … and then store one year’s worth of magazines in our file room for reference.
19. Meeting with a new client? Forget MapQuest, we pulled out our hard copy Atlas and hand wrote directions.
20. We used hard copy AP Style books instead of the quick-and-easy online version.
21. Google and other search engines didn’t exist back in the early 90s, so when we needed to research something we headed to the library.
22. Our presentations would be done with printed binder booklets or transparencies or carousels of 35mm slides. PowerPoint has really upped our presentation capabilities!
23. Today’s 24-hour news cycle didn’t exist. Traditional media, newspapers, radio and TV, was the only way to access news.
24. With no citizen journalists, bloggers or influencers of any kind, journalists were the only way to get your story out.
25. Working from home or on the road wasn’t an option. Desktop computers don’t travel well and offsite server access wasn’t common.