I get asked this a lot… “Can you guarantee me media coverage?”
The only guarantee of placement is if you pay for it.
There is no way to guarantee quantity or location; even with great contacts. The media is (should) independent, driven by the needs of its audience. Delivering great content (sadly, it’s changed a lot driven by influencers demanding ridiculously high fees, fake news, inane meaningless stories driven by Tweets or plane stories, and decimated news rooms).
Paid for results
Some have approached me asking if I’ll do paid for results, which breaches the Public Relations Institute of Australia’s code of ethics: “Members shall refrain from proposing or agreeing that their consultancy fees or other remuneration be contingent entirely on the achievement of specified results.”
There are no guarantees with any form of marketing: even paid advertising. With an ad, you pay a specified amount of money, and you get complete control over creative and messaging, and you’ll also know where and when your ad will place.
PR means you are at the mercy of the media, but the rewards can be very high.
PR shouldn’t just be hinged on media wins. The rewards from getting great coverage is valuable but PR is everything you say and do.
People are so focused on that one aspect of PR, they don’t focus on the many other ways to build a brand. Or they try one or two things and give up. PR is not a quick fix. It’s strategy, delivered across multiple platforms, keeping in mind the most important stakeholder – the target audience.
PR shapes messages
A PR campaign shapes your messages and leverages your brand to reach your target audience across multiple platforms. It has to be more than getting coverage.
It seems getting coverage is the PR default. Don’t get me wrong, many of our services aim for this but that’s because that’s what people want. They don’t understand or realise the intricacies of a robust strategic plan. We all want the quick and easy win.
PR …. building a brand takes time. Cliche as it is …. PR is a marathon. Six weeks or one media release is not going to be enough. It’s like going on a diet and expecting to lose 20kgs in a month when it took you 2 years to whack it on.
Brand building takes time
Coming to a PR wanting to promote your book or event with two weeks to spare is not going to get adequate results. You’ll blame the PR. But you really should have taken the time to plan with the big picture in mind.
When you are forking out for someone to do the work for you, you want a ROI. We get that. That is what we work hard to deliver for you. Yet, it is important to manage expectations. To let you, the client know, that PR is not a magic pill. It is about relationships (they take time), it is about building solid foundations to build your story on (that takes time), it is about a mix of tools combined to leverage your message (that takes time), it is about getting cut through with your target audience, building their trust (that takes time). This is all sounding like an excuse, justifying why we’re not getting media wins. Hedging our bets. Yet, it is the reality of PR. It is not about leaching more money out of our clients.
A good PR becomes a part of your team. Gets to know you and your business. We are the breadcrumb droppers – whispering in the ears of the media and ultimately, your target audience, leading them to you.