PR Advice: Why It Can Be Dangerous

Public relations is like writing, everyone thinks they can do it and just about everyone is willing to give you advice on how you should do it.  Trouble is if you start listening to this advice you’re like a pilot being given instruction by people who have never been in a cockpit.  Trust me; everyone thinks they know exactly how you should run your PR campaign.  You will be given (generally well meaning) advice from your siblings, neighbors, clients, janitors, and anyone else who hears that you’re about to launch a media relations campaign. .

Before I began working as a PR consultant, I worked as a freelance journalist and as a magazine editor.  I once worked as the editor-in-chief of an L.A.-based publication.  My publisher was a people person, which was great, but he also had a tendency to listen to, and take advice from just about everyone he met. Whenever he left the office, I’d hope that he’d spend his day without human contact. Otherwise every client, salesperson, waiter or stranger he spoke to would be sure to offer him new article ideas. Invariably he’d then come to my office and outline all of the new articles and new directions to take the magazine that he had been given.  Not that there weren’t some good ideas, but  nine times out of ten these article ideas were totally inappropriate, as far as he was concerned they were new, exciting and revolutionary.

I understand that people love to give advice, and then generally give it with the best of intentions, whether they know what they’re talking about or not. When it comes to your marketing or your public relations campaign, you have to keep in mind that people who tell you their creative ways of marketing your business have nothing at stake.  That’s why they can afford to offer such definitive and authoritative ideas. It’s not their business.  They’re not risking a thing.  When these know-it-alls give you advice, smile, listen, maybe even nod, but stay on course.

Some advice and suggestions you’ll receive will be on the money, but more often than not, the PR advice you receive will reflect the advice givers perspective more than your business marketing needs.  My next few articles will outline some of the most dangerous PR and marketing advice that you can receive from good intending folks who have absolutely no stake in your business.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2012


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