This blog is geared towards brands looking to learn about PR, and PR professionals looking to keep up to date on the latest PR trends and news
In today’s social media-heavy world, brand reputation is one the most valuable assets a business owns. One negative article about your brand from a major media publication or a negative interaction on social platforms can trigger a public relations crisis. This ruins your credibility and leaves your business in shambles. Even if it isn’t your fault, negative publicity leaves a lasting impact.
No company enjoys dealing with a PR crisis, but the good news is that negative news can be overcome. There are countless examples of brands and individuals that have recovered from a scandal and are now viewed in a positive light. PR disasters are one of the worst things to happen to brands, but they can be overcome.
So how do you deal with negative PR? In this post, we’ll go into the details of how to manage bad coverage and how to turn it into an opportunity to control the narrative.
Oftentimes, companies have public relations roles reporting into the CMO. Why? Perhaps the hire is junior so it doesn’t make sense to report to the CEO, or maybe the company doesn’t understand the key differences between PR and Marketing so assumes it falls within the same business unit. The reasons for reporting into a CMO can vary, but the truth is that both the company and PR professional are best set up for success when there is a direct line of communication to the CEO, whether that is by structure or access.
As a seasoned veteran of the PR industry, I've worked with PR professionals that have either reported into the CEO or CMO. From this experience, I can tell you precisely what works really well and what doesn’t.
That said, wherever your PR function sits within your business structure, it’s imperative that they have, at a minimum, a dotted line and access to the top and here’s why:
Oftentimes, these two closely related marketing terms are used interchangeably. But the truth is, there is a stark difference between Public Relations (PR) and Communications. When making a hire for your business, it is important to differentiate and understand how both are impactful, yet serve different purposes for your business’s needs.
Here’s the breakdown.
Think of Communications as the overarching umbrella that covers all different types of Communications functions, such as: events, sponsorships, social media, content, and yes, PR. Communications also sets the strategic messaging for your business—the themes, messaging strands, and most salient points you want your audience to know about your business, product, or service.
So when you say you need to hire someone for Communications (i.e., Director of Communications, VP Communications), you could very well be speaking about any of those important tools. It’s somebody...
Business leaders often tell me they have an opinion about something in their industry, but don’t feel that it’s relevant enough to their business or bottom line to speak out about it. My response is generally “that’s fantastic, you’re embodying a thought leader—let’s find a way to share that thought or opinion.” However, I’m often met with “ehhh, my opinion doesn’t matter. I want us to focus on the product only.” The problem with this mindset, is that your opinion DOES matter. A lot!
What many don’t understand, is that opinions and well-formed thoughts can ultimately be a huge driving force in acquiring business and building a company, if used correctly.
I know I’m not the only PR professional to experience this scenario and turn my efforts into education about what thought leadership is and why it’s important. So here it is—here is why it’s important and how it can ultimately...
We know that it takes more than a press release to get headline media coverage. It's a jigsaw puzzle, and one of the pieces is media relations. Media relations is simply the act of reaching out to the media in a personalized manner. However, I wanted to quickly re-visit, breakdown and explain three different media relations strategies that clients often have questions around: pre-briefings, embargoes and exclusives.
An exclusive is when you give your story to one media publication only, in advance of your announcement. There are pros and cons to this, since you ARE putting all of your eggs in one basket.
"We just need a Press Release, right?”
Attention Startups Founders: it takes more than “just” a press release to get media coverage.
A common frustration amongst PR professionals is how often they are approached by startups, founders and businesses who say “We don’t have much of a budget. We just want a press release so that the WSJ will cover us.” Sigh.
It’s time to demystify this statement - not only for the startup founders, business owners, and entrepreneurs, but also to help PR professionals properly articulate their value.
So here it is. Your PR consultant (or agency) is doing a lot more than “just” writing a press release to get you that headline media and press coverage. The journey from signing a contract to seeing media coverage for your company involves many laborious steps. It includes research, writing, competitive analysis, and relationship-building to boost credibility.
Imagine if after building your startup where you spent many sleepless nights cultivating the value proposition, identifying your target audience, understanding what you were solving for, getting customer validation, pitching investors, showing how it will impact the world...you launched. And well….
- The press stories were negative.
- The reporter compared you to your competition incorrectly.
- Your founder wasn’t even consulted for an interview.
- ...nobody wrote about you at all.
Now you have to be reactive. You go into crisis mode. You have to go and fix everything. That is 10x harder to come back from, than had you gotten ahead of the news and identified your story before anyone else. This is why PR matters early on. It allows you (the startup) to control your own narrative and story out the gate, as well as who gets to tell it. It’s important to be proactive with the press instead of reactive. This is achieved by working with PR early to create your company...
You have probably heard that Public Relations (PR) can help your business grow and make you money. Who doesn’t want that? However, you're not quite sure how it works, what it should cost or who is good at it.
You ask to be put in touch with a “PR professional,” this mythical creature who has relationships with the press and can supposedly get you published in all the top newspapers and magazines. It sounds awesome, and you’d love to be able to say you’ve been published.
However, where do you start? Do you know what you need PR for? Do you understand what it can do for your business? How do you know if the PR professional is good at what they do?
You don’t know what you don’t know, so here are some tips on how to have an effective conversation with a PR consultant or agency, to make sure you are getting what you need to help you reach your goals.
What can PR do for me and my business?
PR is not one size fits all. Like any business objective,...
A lot of people think that the only time you need a Public Relations team is when things are going south. While this is not true (at all), a crisis still has the potential to happen. Sometimes it is preventable, and sometimes it’s not. The good news is that there are things you can do as a business owner to prevent certain crises from happening.
This blog post shares basic tips for dealing with crisis, but also preventable PR mistakes that have the potential to lead to crisis.
Preventable Things You Can Do To Avoid Getting Into a Crisis:
We are in uncertain times and unchartered territories. Everyone is feeling it personally, financially and business-wise. With a looming recession, the natural reaction as business owners is to retract into our shells, tighten up our budgets and let everything and everyone go that isn’t essential to operations. As the business owner, you may think “Well, there are no press releases to be written right now since we are not producing any news.” Or “Everyone is talking about the Pandemic and other scary worldly issues, and we are not doing anything related to that, so there’s nothing for PR to do right now.” It seems like an obvious cut, so you make the decision to let your PR team go for capital preservation.
However, consider this: your Public Relations team has a skill set that can help your business in many capacities. A PR professional has organizational skills, speaking skills, writing skills, problem-solving skills,...