Dorothy York
Dorothy York

In our 60th anniversary year, I’m proud and honored to contribute an article to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jack O’Dwyer’s company.

Nobody has helped NAPS more than Jack to get the word out to our clients, with a trade publication that’s second to none.

Jack is a PR pro of the first order. He calls it as he sees it and lets the chips fall where they may. He’s given us the inside cover of his magazine for many years and top-rate positioning on his site.

O'Dwyer's Jul. '18 50th Anniversary MagazineThis article is featured in O'Dwyer's Jul. '18 50th Anniversary Magazine

What we’ve paid has been far exceeded by the many happy returns on our investment. I don’t know if we would have survived all these years without the help of Jack and his staff. We are truly grateful for all he has done for us and for the PR community.

The fundamentals of marketing and PR are the same today as they were 50 or even 100 years ago, as written about by Edward Bernays, who most consider one of the founding fathers of PR.

Bernays, a nephew of Sigmund Freud, wrote about the psychology behind the PR efforts, including appealing to people’s basic wants and needs, which are much the same today as they were back then.

PR is about relationships. What’s changed is that we have new tools and techniques to get the word out and develop those relationships.

Back in 1968, one of the most tumultuous single years in history, in the days of the assassination of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., the Viet Nam War, student protests all over the world, Apollo 8, the election of Richard Nixon and the dawn of the television age, Jack started out with a fire in his belly and a passion for PR. Those were the golden days of traditional media, the primary focus of the efforts of most of our clients.

Fast forward to 2018, and we live in a world of real-time news and agile responses to the constantly changing environment.

Donald Trump, like him or hate him, has rewritten the rules of PR and marketing by cutting through the filter of traditional media and reaching out directly to the public to build relationships that made the most unlikely of candidates President of the U.S.

New terminology has been coined to describe the current PR landscape, such as changing “press release” to “news release” because the news is not only for the press but also for marketing directly to consumers.

Also, “newsjacking,” as described by David Meerman Scott in The New Rules of Marketing and PR, is the act of seizing the opportunity to inject your story into the conversation about breaking news, if there’s a legitimate connection to be made, and providing a resource to journalists, who are looking for more information on a relevant topic.

Clients who want to repurpose content they’ve worked so hard to create, typically for a handful of top-tier journalists, have an ever-increasing number of choices, as the media has become fragmented, including citizen journalists, in the age of democratization of the media.

Our results are better than ever and keep getting better! We’ve gone from promising 100 placements per press release to more than 1,000. Our metrics are more precise measures of the value of PR so clients can more fully appreciate our success stories. We’ve given out hundreds of Golden Thinker Awards and Certificates of Excellence at an increasing rate, after raising the bar several times to show that what’s above and beyond is now what’s typically expected.

We offer proposed feature news releases at no cost or obligation from our team of experts, who study the trends in what is getting the best coverage in thousands of community news outlets, primarily in the wealthy suburbs nationwide. Our guarantee is that people will love their results or get another one free.


Dorothy York is CEO of New York-based North American Precis Syndicate.