By Jackie Pantaliano, President, ImPRessions, LLC
You have to personally know targeted media
Reality: A PR pro absolutely doesn’t need to have a prior relationship with a particular contact in a specific industry or region, if the PR person is a quick study, an excellent writer, and has a nose for news. We got into Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Better Homes and Gardens, many trades, TV and other media outlets without prior connections. Successful PR people need to make the editor, blogger, broadcaster, or reporter’s job as easy as possible. After gaining media’s initial interest, they must provide all additional information and contacts quickly. The PR person will then become a future resource for the media contact. While PR professionals can and must learn about your industry, the media outlet, and the geographic area, this shouldn’t take long. Your PR person doesn’t need to be the industry expert that you are.
You’ve got to be doing something brand new to get publicity
Reality: See large feature in Thursday, December 8, 2005 New York Times on Mallomars, which have been around since 1913. While newness is a plus, you need to be timely, and relevant. Also, sometimes being around for a long time is news.
A few media appearances are enough to grow your business
Reality: It typically takes at least a year of repetition and consistency to build name recognition and sales. Also, leveraging each media appearance is critical to increasing exposure and shelf-life of your coverage. Press clippings must be on your website, displayed at trade shows, hanging on your walls, on social media sites and e-mailed to clients and prospects.
PR is all about wining and dining media and posh events
Reality: The days of big expense accounts and three-martini lunches are over. No one has the time or money for that today. While events may be part of your PR campaign, if you don’t have solid writing, great news hooks and angles behind you, you’re sunk.
PR is strictly about gaining publicity
Reality: Internal and external audiences are all part of PR. Boosting employee morale, communicating to employees and shareholders through newsletters memos, speeches and annual reports are all key parts of public relations.