A great way to get to know your customer, and to get them great media coverage, is to focus on not just what they do, but how they do it.
In my forty years in the PR and advertising business and twenty-plus years serving clients, I have yet to discover a completely viable method of quantifying the effectiveness or difference between the two main marketing tools –advertising and public relations. Both can be effective but are very different in what they return for the investment. I’ve always recommended that a client – if they can afford it – execute a coordinated campaign of both PR and advertising.
The PR pro’s dilemma. One would think that with the ever expanding media covering the 24/7 news cycle, there would be ever expanding opportunities to tell a client’s deserving soft news story. Not true.
You have been there before; the media is covering a topic that is relevant to your business, but you still cannot find a way to get yourself into the conversation. It seems the media is not interested in what you have to say, or maybe you don’t know what to say. In the end, it goes by as a lost opportunity.
David Letterman used to do a comedy piece having the audience determine whether photos of various entertainers and celebrities were wearing their real hair or a toupee’. The audience would shout out, their opinion…” real” or “fake” at each photo. Sound familiar?
By now you’ve no doubt seen the footage of authorities at O’Hare airport in Chicago forcibly removing a passenger who did not want to be bumped from an overbooked United Express flight. Any time there’s a viral event like this, PR pros are often just as interested in the corporate response as they are in the initial event itself.
Since the beginning of the internet, business owners have been conscientious about how their business ranks up against the competition in appearing in online searches- their SEO. After all, less than 10 percent of users advance to page 2 of a Google search. Many understand that the more links and articles one gets online, the higher the chances are one will end up on the first search page. However, depending on one’s goals and techniques, the first page appearance might not be as elusive as one thinks.
I was reviewing a story about one of our clients, Philip and Katy Leakey, written by David Brooks of The New York Times, “The Question-Driven Life.” There is a quote referenced in this article by the late Richard Holbrook that stands out, which describes the philosophy of the Leakey’s, one which they live by and makes me smile with memories of my interview with Philip: “Know something about something. Don’t just present your wonderful self to the world. Constantly amass knowledge and offer it around.”
There are a few of us – dwindling to but a precious few every year – that remember the golden age of magazine journalism…Life, Look, Collier’s, Time, Fortune, Sports Illustrated…and later as our tastes grew younger…People, INC, Fast Company, InStyle, Healthy Living, etc. A recent story in the New York Times regarding Time, Inc. brought back both these memories and how fragile they may well be.
Good business owners have certain expectations from their PR firms before entering into media relations partnerships. On the other side of the relationship, the firms also have certain expectations from the business client. While it is the firms’ responsibility to get coverage and meet the client’s expectations, the firms rely on the clients themselves to help them achieve the goals. In a way, it is perpetuating the old adage, “the best way to get help is to help yourself.”