24 Oct PR Does Not Mean Press Release
Many, if not most, buying decisions are strongly influenced by third parties, so identifying who is both willing and able to positively influence the sale of your product or service is an important exercise that can contribute to the success of your marketing efforts. For example, if your business hinges on selling to other businesses, members of the trade media, both print and online communicators, are important third-party influencers.
“R” is for “Relations(hips).”
From time to time we run into companies that think that all of marketing is about data sheets, or trinkets with logos on them, or sending out press releases (i.e., they think that PR stands for “press release”). When this happens, we have some educating to do. Our view of marketing is that its purpose is furthering people relationships in the interest of facilitating the sales process, and building relationships with members of the media is part and parcel of that charter. And relationships are by their very nature a two-way street.
Editors are people, too.
We treat media relations campaigns as “sales” efforts. You have a product (i.e., information) that the media needs to serve their readership. But like any sales prospect, what matters is not what you’re selling, but what the “customer” wants to buy. Editors, either explicitly or subliminally, have a perception of what they want their readers to know. It’s important for marketers to identify what this is and serve these needs. That’s why we place so much emphasis on analyzing our clients’ target media and cataloging their relevant editorial calendar opportunities.
“R” also stands for “Relevance”
Press releases should be written to explain the relevance of the news being announced. Without this info, a press release is just so much chest thumping. If you’re lucky, editors will ignore it. If not, they’ll form a bad impression of your company. The “R” in PR stands for ‘relations,’ but it may just as well stand for ‘relevance.’
And relating to this, articles and case studies for publication should be written with a particular audience in mind. We get a lot of articles published that do well in furthering the selling of our clients’ products and services, but we write the information in an informative style that also fulfills the editor’s need to educate and serve as an information conduit for his or her readers.
Stop and think
So before you pull the trigger on your next press release, please stop and think about how the information will be received on the other end. Will the editor pass on the info as a service to his/her readers, building a positive image for your company, or will your “big news” be ignored.