Why Are Most Companies Terrible at PR?

Why Are Most Companies Terrible at PR?

The answer is simple: most managers and many marketing professionals can’t think beyond the boundaries of their own company. When they create a press release or marketing program, they consider it only from their own perspective rather than from the view of their clients or the media they’re hoping to exploit.

The fact is, most clients and editors couldn’t care less about what’s going on in your company. Clients want to know how you can help them. Editors want to know what you can offer that would be interesting to their readers.

Here are three tips for getting better results from your public relations program:

  • Chase the “hot” story. If your press release or article idea puts a new or different spin on an issue that’s in the news, you have a much better chance of getting a publication’s attention. A company trying to promote a new retirement planning option would get better results by referencing the misfortune of small investors who lost their life savings in the financial collapse of companies like Enron and WorldCom than it would by taking the approach that “this is good so you should do it.”
  • Talk about people and money. When developing a press release, ask how this story affects the people who read the publications you’re targeting, and what the financial impact is? A company writing a press release about the privatization of a municipal public works facility must talk about how it’s going to personally affect both the people working at the facility and the taxpayers who rely on that facility for services. Will there be layoffs? Will people’s bills change? The release also has to address the financial angle…not just that the city expects to save $1.5 million per year by privatizing the facility, but that the average family of four should expect to see their bill decrease by $20 per year.
  • Write and send press releases even when nothing new has happened. Many companies only send a press release when they finish a project, develop something new, or hire someone. That’s wrong thinking. Some of the best press releases I’ve seen relied solely on one person’s experience, knowledge, and insight. If your company is a leading provider of real estate management services, a press release with two or three key trends in the industry is likely to be way more interesting to an editor than a standard release about a new contract you signed.

If you have any questions or you want to talk with me about other ways to improve your press releases and PR results, give me a call at 781-718-2403 or e-mail me at info@jagg-group.com.

Jerry Guerra
The JAGG Group
January 6, 2003