Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Here's to Those Racing PR Girls; They're Sweet as Honey and Smile at You Like You're Made of Money

        Just a note to say thanks to Tamy Valkosky, Susan Bradshaw, Annie Bradshaw, Kathi Lauterbach,Carol Wilkins, Katie Brannan, Tara Ragan, Chris Mears, and all of the men and women who toil in the fields of racing PR.

         The folks I mention above are all superb professionals, and many of them have their own company now. They were the ones who could get you an interview when you needed one and tell you who knew stories you hadn't heard before.

         Racing PR is an especially tough job.  Plenty of jobs pay badly, make you work  weekends, put in 14 hour days back to back for weeks, and keep you away from home for a month at a time. Motor racing journalists for example.  But there are very few that also require you to be sweet and fun to be around.  The PR folks do it because they really love racing.

           Here’s one example of how hard this is.  One racing journalist who was unable to write an interesting sentence and never, to my knowledge, ever got off his butt to get an original story was sitting along side me in the press room at Twin Ring Motegi.  Susan Bradshaw was passing out the race summary she’d just written up for Marlboro Team Penske.  It was the end of a long week in rural Japan.  (“I thought they were taking us out in the woods to shoot us,” Dario Franchitti quipped when he saw the track on top of a sawed off mountain.)

           The “journalist” irritated me because he was lazy. My Dad was a journalist and I respect the craft. You have to get up, go out there and dig it up.

          He found out that he could sit on his butt and collect pr pieces, watch the broadcast of the race, and patch together a few PR bits for his “stories.”   Didn't matter,  he still got to go to the parties and dinners the teams were always throwing for sponsors and journalists (organized by the team’s PR person) and rub shoulders with racing drivers.

             Anyway, Susan is passing out her last sheet of paper for the weekend.  She’s organized the team’s transportation to Tokyo, their various hotels, and seen to a zillion details for her team’s sponsors, drivers, management and her team’s owner, Roger Penske. She’s not had much sleep for a week, and she’s exhausted.
Susan Bradshaw Crowther

            And this reptile says, “I just want you to know, I’m available for dinner in Tokyo tomorrow night.”

             And Susan smiles at the toad and says, “Oh great. Where would you like to go?” 



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