Here’s the penultimate instalment in our series of 7 deadly PR sins…

Sin 6: Greed

Everyone wants results. And it’s completely normal to want more. But no one likes a greedy guts! We’re all guilty of being greedy when it comes to our businesses – and we don’t mean financially. In the world of PR, this is how it happens…

You’ve got a great story that you want everyone to know and your mind can’t help but wonder about the endless possibilities of where you’ll share it. Maybe you’ll try and get it on national TV or radio station. By all means, reach for the stars (we champion that all the way) and of course national coverage is amazing, but what you’ve really got to think about is the effect it will have on your business or brand.

You could be interviewed at 11am on ITV’s This Morning by Philip and Holly and be seen by a million viewers but if your target audience is MDs of SMEs then they’re unlikely to be watching. Yes, there’s a chance they may hear about the coverage from their retired mother-in-law next time they’re round for Sunday lunch but we wouldn’t consider that a direct hit for a PR campaign.

Think strategically

What is the purpose of your PR campaign and this particular story you are sharing? Does it form part of your recruitment process, is it to attract customers or will it simply just raise brand awareness? Every single media outlet offers a slightly different benefit to the other and it’s up to you to find out which one is best. Here’s a few points to consider when doing your research:

  • What does my story bring to a journalist/reader? Does it fit with what this outlet would normally cover?
  • What are the benefits for my business? If we gain coverage in this outlet, will it positively influence my target audience?
  • Ultimately, is this the best use of my time? Is it worth pitching to this outlet? If I need to free up time for a follow-up interview, will it help reach my business goals?

Greedy for easy wins

PR is not a quick win – it’s a long-term game. If you’re greedy for coverage, you might be tempted to go back to a journalist just because they’ve published one of your stories before. You’d be very lucky if a journo automatically published your news or articles – in fact, if they did this, I’d wonder about the quality of their outlet.

Content is king. Just as you should be updating your website with quality, relevant and unique content to improve your SEO and traffic to your website, media outlets will be doing the same. Whether online or print, their readers, viewers and listeners want interesting content, so they’re usually looking for something that naturally fits with their style, regular themes and their upcoming feature schedule. So, if you have a good relationship with a journo but then start bombarding them with irrelevant or poor-quality content, it’s going to end in a messy divorce.

Here’s a few ideas to keep you on track…

  • Keep a record of your wins. Note down the outlet, date and details of the coverage. With a quick glance, you can see how long it’s been since you last approached a media outlet and what type of content they prefer.
  • Repurpose your content. You can reach your audience through other means. Adding your news to a newsletter or social media channels can re-engage old prospects and help retain existing customers.
  • Run the “and coming up next” test. If you were a newsreader explaining the next news item after the ad break, hoping to keep your viewers attention, would your content be interesting enough or would they change channel? If the answer is “no”, how can you make it more appealing or maybe you should spend your valuable time on something else.

Greed is good or greed is bad? We think greed can be a motivator as long as it’s kept in check. Aim for the mountain top if it’s the right destination for your brand but the top of the hill up the road might be where your most profitable customers are patiently waiting to be fed some fascinating content.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog – the final PR sin!

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