Avoiding The #1 PR Pitfall
Particularly when economic times are tough, companies look to grow their businesses as quickly as possible. It’s during those times, that most have a tendency to forget that marketing is a subtle art and revert to the hard sell. Particularly in the PR and media world, the hard sell is generally the least effective approach. You need to meet the media’s needs in order to meet those of your company.
During hard economic times, businesses and entrepreneurs panic and start making marketing decisions with their lizard brain. It’s an understandable, but costly mistake. When times are tough, companies look to grow their businesses as quickly as possible. It’s during those times, that most have a tendency to forget that marketing is a subtle art and revert to the hard sell. Particularly in the PR and the media world, the hard sell is generally the least effective approach. Yes you want to sell your product or service; yes you want to reach your target market, but you want to do so in a manner that the media can understand. You need to meet the media’s needs in order to meet those of your company.
An effective public relations campaign can build a brand, add value to the company, increase the bottom line, build the client and customer base, and increase sales. It can also help change minds and attitudes. It is the most powerful marketing tool available.
Yes it’s important that a PR campaign helps build and perpetuate the company. But there are times that business owners miss the mark by not understanding that meeting the media’s objectives will eventually meet business objectives. If that formula is reversed, it often doesn’t work. What I mean by that is that if you pitch your “need” to sell products or increase your client base to the media, you’re going to lose their interest from the start. They don’t care that you need to build your business, what they care about is a good story that meets their readers’ or viewers’ needs.
Launching an effective PR campaign all comes down to telling effective stories with a strong narrative. People listen to good stories. Effective stories get people to feel, act and react, whereas pitching a run-of-the-mill, our-product-is-the-best type of story generally only leads to yawns.
So don’t just think of your PR and media relations message when you’re ready to pitch the press. Keep your message in mind each step of the way. You never know where you’ll find your most effective stories. Keep your PR hat on even when you think it’s not a part of the game, for example, when purchasing, during sales activities, employee hiring or training, and during trade shows. You never know where you’ll find that one great story that opens the media floodgates. If you skip the hard sell and take a more creative, more subtle approach you can meet their objectives, which in turn, will meet yours.