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It’s Common Sense…Right?

October 12th, 2006

trendSpotting Report
Eddie Berrang

Public relations isn’t for everyone. PR is for companies that understand clearly that PR is far from accidental and specific steps must be taken to open media hearts, minds and doors.

The core goal of every campaign is to work hand-in-hand with the media to shine a spotlight on your business’ resources and expertise. Your firm better have a strong understanding of your business objectives—what you want to accomplish. From there, the folks you have hired create unique and newsworthy story angles, conduct proper research, pitch aggressively, identify timely hooks, follow up—and then follow up more. All of this to bring solid returns through positive media coverage, third party endorsement and constructive word-of-mouth.

These are the uncomplicated objectives of a PR campaign.

Consumer endorsements are the standard for successful business in any industry, and yet many of us still labor under the mistaken impression that advertising is the most influential component of the marketing mix. Makes me think about the wasted dollars that could be invested in useful PR!

Maybe RLM can help the PR world by placing an ad in the New York Times that says:

No one will remember this ad because it is, after all, just an ad. But please see the story on page A7 about this company, our client. We know you’ll remember that.

Companies would call appropriate PR firms (hey call me!) in droves. We used to chase after John and Jane Public like they were rabbits. Our chase as marketers was fairly overt, and it always came in the form of advertising. Today, common sense businesses have built a rabbit trap. We place a carrot under a raised box, and put the string that slams the box in the hands of media influencers. The rabbits are those fabulous consumers who have gotten smarter and faster about decision-making, and we have to understand that if we continue to chase them around exhausting ourselves and don’t use those available tools, we are wasting valuable energy and resources that could be allocated to more important facets of business like customer service, new product development, or collecting passport stamps.

Still missing the point?

PR is not about placements with The Today Show, Oprah, Wall Street Journal, Late Show, or those guys. As much as Big Media is crucial, influencing the influencers involves more than just the big cheese stand-out media placements we deliver each day. The blogosphere has been friendly to PR and events and maximizing sponsorships and celebrity endorsement are a few of the ways PR can now contribute in ways we never imagined. A good firm tailors their services to meet needs of each client—and finds the way no matter what.

A comprehensive PR program has power. It can build consumer endorsement, help reach clear objectives and create opportunities by inciting action from potential clients and influencers.

But you knew that already!? Why? It’s common sense.

Eddie Berrang is RLM’s business development manager, a fellow who scours the landscape daily for companies needing the power of PR and is thrilled to share Edward Bernays’ initials.