Good PR Shuns Smoke and Mirrors

February 4, 2011

By Katie
Have you ever fallen victim to stereotyping? It's no fun. Most of us prefer to build, manage and maintain our own reputations. Effective PR professionals frequently must fight toxic and false preconceptions about their work.
Sigh. Thanks a lot, Lois. (You may remember when TechCrunch had a field day with a PR firm that spammed the blog with a canned PR pitch).
What differentiates good PR from “bad” PR? How can we combat the ugly labels some of them have rightfully earned?

  • Be goals-based. This means helping clients identify what they want to achieve and what is possible to achieve based on their resources.
  • Read. Know what is happening through constant news, blog and social media scans from the most influential sources in the industry. Take a first-mover approach with issues response, positioning the firm and clients as relevant to topical discussions.
  • Have a purpose. Build relationships with reporters, bloggers and analysts. Be personal. Choose relevant targets. Know what they cover. Know why they want to know the clients. Act fast and give reporters what they want. Be thankful; and therefore, be thanked.
  • Relay the value. Have you ever come across a PR status report that lists monthly activities by the hour? We have, and it made us laugh. It is impossible to see any sort of progress, success or value. Client contacts should look like superheroes when they share reports internally, because the PR firm should be just as interested in the influence, metrics and analytics as they are. Track followers, circulation, impressions, sentiment, and leads from the results to illustrate why PR is worth every cent.

Thoughtfulness is the common denominator. Successful PR firms move fast to accomplish goals, but they aren't hasty.

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