My last article focused on how even the most well meaning PR advice can send you in the wrong direction. You’re bound to run into some people who have had negative marketing experiences and will use their personal experiences to try and direct you in your business choices. For example, I tried social media, it’s useless, or I tried direct marketing, it didn’t do a thing, or I tried PR, it didn’t work.
The trouble with that type of advice is that it’s completely subjective. You have no idea what they did or didn’t do, how much time they gave it, how targeted their approach was, etc. When it comes to public relations, people often go in with little knowledge of how the process works and unrealistic expectations. There are also times when the process actually is working, but it doesn’t fit in with how they expect the process to work, so they assume it’s simply a waste of time. Let’s review some media relations issues that might be confronting, but still might not be what they appear.
Potential Media Relations Issues
- For example, your favorite quotes were cut from your interview.
- You didn’t like the photo they used.
- The editor or producer forgot to mention where you’re located. It’s not all about you. It’s not the story you were hoping for.
- You feel like you didn’t come out looking like a rock star.
The bottom line is you and your business were covered in the media. Nine times out of ten the article is much better that you think it is, the trouble is that it’s about you so you’re hypersensitive. If there is information that is blatantly wrong; for example, if the date, time of an event was reported incorrectly, you can politely call to set the record straight, but if you weren’t given the amount of time you felt you warranted, if you weren’t made the star, if other people were given more prominence than you, do not call the media to complain.
You’ve landed press coverage. You have the validation and credibility that being featured as a news story offers you. Use whatever coverage you do get to get a better piece next time. You’re going to run into situations where the coverage you land isn’t going to be exactly what you were hoping for. In those cases get rid of your preconceived ideas or expectations and focus on how to utilize the coverage you received. You can make it work for you.
At times a journalist has a particular slant and only one or two of your quotes will fit. That happens, but you can still utilize that coverage and (most importantly) keep in mind that this is simply one step in a PR process. This can often be a helpful experience. You can do some homework and give them a more targeted interview next time. Make it a learning experience. Bottom line is that you make sure you utilize any coverage you get; realize that is the nature of the beast, and make it work for you. Often it can build a relationship with a journalist that will lead to other interviews. The one thing you want to make sure of is that you never call the media to complain that you weren’t given enough space or enough time, etc. They’re all learning experiences, and you go into the game knowing that. But also realize that if you stick to your PR objectives, each step is a step closer to your ultimate goal. That article that only had a one-sentence quote can help garner you a larger piece, which can lead to a TV segment, etc. Public relations is a cumulative process. It’s a journey a series of steps that is leading you to your goal. So, when others tell you about their marketing woes, remember that is their experience, there are countless others who have built successful businesses effectively utilizing marketing and PR.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2012