Don’t Fall For The PR Hype
If you’re not a PR person, then you may not know just how intense, gritty, detail-oriented or time-consuming the job really is or how much strategy and big picture thinking is really required to achieve success
The best PR professionals make their job look easy. And, the best PR gurus are transparent about their process. They don’t try to tell you that they have media relationships with the top media outlets just to impress you. If the company you want to hire makes promises that seem too good to be true, don’t fall for the hype. Here are the top five most commonly hyped up myths about PR.
You must hire a PR agency or person with the right media relationships. This theory sounds good, and it certainly helps to have relationships, however, the real truth is that the person has to be very good at pitching stories and writing compelling communications to secure media opportunities. Professionals with this ability will be able to seamlessly pitch to any reporter, producer or editor and achieve a great result because they understand what type of content a particular media outlet needs. Alternatively, they can be best of friends with a producer, but if they are not positioning stories correctly, they will not have the desired outcome. Check out your PR team’s latest news coverage and see if they have achieved consistent and regular coverage for their clients. This is one telltale sign of media relations success.
You have to spend a certain amount of time or money to see results. We’re often asked how long PR efforts should take before seeing results. While we cannot truly forecast, we can most definitely tell you that it shouldn’t take more than three months. We have heard from clients who have hired a PR person or agency and were disappointed because they did not see any results for a year. They also didn’t understand the process and were told that it takes ‘a while’ to see results. They stuck it out in hopes of seeing results one day. We say, really get to know what your PR team, what they’re doing and expect results in a reasonable timeframe that works for you.
Media coverage is guaranteed. Nothing in life is truly guaranteed, including media coverage. While we at NSPR have an impressive success rate for media coverage, and it is extremely rare that our clients see a month without any interviews, it’s still not guaranteed. Media relations is not like advertising where you pay for placement. Be wary of anyone who tries to guarantee media coverage. Instead, work to understand the process of how newsrooms choose stories and prepare to collaborate with your team to develop stories to pitch.
(Insert result here) will happen because of PR. Whether it is sales, new customers, donations for a charitable cause, attendance at an event or overall increased revenue, PR is a function of a business operation but is not the entire entity. Everything within your business must come together in order for your business to grow. For example, an organization’s website should be easy for new customers to navigate and to make a purchases. The person answering calls for the company must be friendly so that you have an opportunity to convert callers to customers. These are some of the things that are out of the PR team’s control. However, with all departments and business functions working together with the PR team, optimal results are bound to occur.
You must hire PR agencies or people who have experience in your field. There are benefits to hiring someone with experience in your field but that doesn’t necessarily translate to results. Sometimes experience can inhibit results because the agency or individual just knows that field exclusively and gets stuck in a rut using the same old approach. Here’s where it comes down to the nitty gritty, where the rubber meets the road (so to speak). A lot of PR people believe they can pitch any industry. That’s just not the case. You want a PR professional who immerses themselves in your business and has the ability to completely understand your industry and develop story ideas that will generate media interest. Be thorough in your explanations and always be open to breaking down jargon and information into layman terms, and your PR team should be just fine.
The good news is that PR can be highly rewarding, and the right type of efforts can help build and expand success-achieving awareness for your business. If you would like a free consultation on how PR can help your organization, call us at (813) 865-3093.