World class, revolutionary PR lead by clueless clients
I chatted to a few of my favourite media and what follows is a small rant from them about the mistakes clients make that often place PR in a compromising position. I would say that most senior PR people will manage these somewhat silly client requests, but I have worked for huge brands and understand the limited scope we often have in darkest Africa. So clients, have a read and maybe listen to your PR consultant next time they advise you on a few of these requests.
I jest in my title, but let’s be honest, clients love those words and often get really upset when we won’t use them. The reality is that the media hate overuse of adjectives and any other puff-PR, so any decent PR will omit any of these flowery PR expletives. International releases are another bug-bear. Don’t issue them as they are sent to you by your global counter-parts. Clients often insist on unchanged releases, but this only makes you look really silly, as fall, spring and summer are not global.
Events, we all love to hate these things. In reality, they are immense amounts of work and getting media to attend should be seen as a modern-day miracle. To make it worse, clients will choose some far out venue with an equally crazy starting time, often expecting media to drive before or during rush hour to a remote spot or worse, one in the midst of traffic hell. I can promise you that this will kill your media attendance on the spot. Consider firstly if an event is necessary and then plan it around the media. It is important to remember that we need the media to attend more than they need to be there. Also, if they do arrive, having them in an amiable mood always helps.
When you do that media interview your PR has worked hard to secure, please don’t ask to see what the journalist has written. This is a sure fire way to kill your story in its tracks. Rather ensure you are adequately prepared, keep on message and engage in a successful interview. If this is done, you won’t need to worry about the content of the story.
Remember that PR is a strategic tool and part of a broader marketing strategy. In fact, it is possible one of the most important tools you have to use, so please give it the time and consideration it deserves and make sure you have the right people for the job at hand. Remember monkeys and peanuts and all that! If you want to appear professional, smart and leading thought leaders, make sure the PR you choose can do that job and pay the appropriate fee too!
We all know sales is important, but I can promise you that the media are not interested in anything salesy or anything product-focused. You need to build your thought leadership ability and if you are quoting numbers, make sure its statistics and percentages of overall sector growth. On this note, please read the briefing document you are supplied with and ensure that when you meet the media, you have a good idea of who they are, their publication and the reason for the interview.