3 ways to minimize the risk and maximize the benefits of PR
When hiring a public relations firm, some companies and executives don’t realize that PR sometimes involves risks, while others actually assign too much prominence to those risks. It helps to understand more about PR and how it can benefit your brand before you hire a PR firm. Unlike advertising, you have little to no control of the timing, content, and context of a news story. Not understanding the risks involved in PR is mistake #4 from Axia Public Relations’ list of 15 mistakes companies make when hiring a PR firm. Here are three elements to pay attention to in order to minimize the risk of taking the plunge into PR:
The news cycle never stops, which means your timing is important to your pitching efforts. You should consider things like TV sweeps as well as product launches, holidays, and clients' or reporter’s vacation schedules when you pitch the media. Many print magazines work three to four months (or more) in advance, so you might participate in an interview and not see the story published for quite a while. That means by the time the article publishes, your product may be out of stock if you’re not prepared. The article may also suddenly cause major interest in your company once it publishes, resulting in a flurry of unexpected attention.
Perhaps you spoke about several topics during an interview and the reporter focused on a piece of content that you didn’t feel was as important to the overall story. Make sure you follow key messages about your company and its products to get the best content included in the story. Your PR firm should be able to help you craft strong key messages.
It’s important to remember that all conversations during an interview — including before it starts and after it ends — may be fair game to a journalist. Sometimes, a reporter might use an offhand remark out of context. Anyone who represents your company should have spokesperson training to prepare for a media interview so that they feel comfortable conveying your company’s message thoroughly and accurately and the reporter leaves satisfied.
While there are risks involved in gaining media coverage using PR, it’s also imperative not to overthink the risks. Overthinking the risks can keep you from realizing the fruits of your PR firm’s efforts. The rewards from one published article are immense, including increased leads, website visits, and overall brand recognition. One piece of media coverage can also lead to additional media coverage in other publications — especially when you’re prepared for a media interview with key messages and spokesperson training. Watch Axia’s media and spokesperson training webinar today to ensure you’re ready.
Marjorie Comer is an award-winning PR professional. She graduated from Rockhurst University with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and loves to cheer for her hometown Kansas City Royals. Marjorie has worked for Axia Public Relations since October 2011. Follow her on Twitter @Marjorie_Comer. Learn more about Marjorie Comer.
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