Presenting a Public Relations workshop to an audience of small business owners, my first few slides were interrupted by an attendee that raised his hand and said, “Uh – you are going to be giving us the contact information for big news people, right?”
I smiled, “No, I’m not, but as you’ll learn throughout this presentation, you don’t need it.”
Contrary to popular misconception, public relations in the Information Age isn’t all about who you know.
It doesn’t matter who you know – a national news anchor or even a Hollywood celeb agent – if you don’t have anything worth publicizing.
Every brand can score big, good publicity – and I mean every brand.
A seasoned public relations professional told me that when I was just a baby – 19 years old – starting out in the public relations (PR) game.
I was skeptical, but after almost ten years of pitching everything from toilet paper to international orphanages to residential contractors, I can attest that yes – every brand (and I mean every brand) can land big publicity.
Newsflash: Advertising and public relations are not the same thing.
While public relations is often integrated within a marketing strategy, advertising and public relations are two very different disciplines.
In fact, some leading professionals even consider public relations as the opposite of advertising.
“A PR Strategy sounds great – for the future – but really isn’t something we’re interested in doing right now,” a client stated.
“But you already are doing PR…it’s just not the kind of PR you want,” I explained, referring to his organizations’ recent “trending” status on community Facebook pages (and not the good kind of trending…).
Truth is we all are involved in public relations 24/7, whether we know it or not.
Good publicity doesn’t just happen – it requires both targeted effort and strategy.
Sending out a couple “I’m so awesome” e-mails and waiting around for the NY Times to call ya ain’t gonna cut it.
I think there’s this common misconception that cool people just miraculous get cool media features (like today’s digitally demanded journalists have time to simply monitor super coolness and write about it).
That’s not how it – ever – happens.
Live streaming is quickly becoming quite the “thing” on social.
Facebook’s even jumping on the bandwagon, with Facebook Live. Originally only available to high profile celebrities, Facebook Live is now available to the masses allowing users to, “broadcast to the largest audience in the world with the camera in your pocket”.
My first Public Relations professor was circa 1940.
He got his career start alongside inspirational characters for Mad Men. His “tried and true” PR theories were all “Cold War, wait ‘em out, big bad Corporate America” themed.
While such stonewall strategy may have worked on June Cleaver inspired retro housewives and their emotionally detached bread winning hubbies, silent treatment simply will not fly with today’s generation of socially savvy consumers.
A holiday-themed food commercial showcases how their product “saves” the day and brings a family closer together.
A national retail store portrays the holiday season as defined by the overwhelming number of presents (encased in branded wrapping paper) under an over-sized and professionally decorated tree.
A Christmas commercial implies children’s Christmas will not be “real” without the insanely expensive interactive unicorn that syncs with their phone (what happened to stuffed teddy bears?).
I was raised by a very prim and proper southern woman.
By age seven, I’d attended four “Charm” schools, understood the importance of handwritten Thank-you notes, and practiced a well-rehearsed “Yes ma’am”/ “No sir” on daily basis.
Throughout my cotillion years, my mother drilled the southern art of illusion in my curly head. Transparency—talking about yourself and/or airing dirty laundry—was something that prim and proper southern ladies just didn’t do.
Becker Digital is a full-service Marketing and Public Relations Agency dedicated to empowering mission-driven organizations to reach their goals. We apply our expertise in community development, social media strategy, and public relations to connect organizational clients with today’s always-scrolling online users.