Are you doing PR for PRs sake?
Any self-respecting Public Relations person will tell you that your business needs PR, and this of course is true. After all, PR is essentially a credible route to making your business known to the public, and if nobody knows about your business, how will they buy your product or service?
However, many businesses fall into the trap of believing that any publicity is good publicity. While PR is a drip-drip process of getting your name out there regularly, there is a lot to be said for securing coverage that boasts quality over quantity. This is especially true as good PR takes investment, whether that’s financially through recruiting a PR agency, or time-wise if you’re doing it yourself.
This common misconception leads businesses to do PR for PRs sake, i.e. aiming to secure coverage anywhere and everywhere, without much consideration to what value it will add to your business.
Granted, not every press release you do will lead to an influx of business enquiries, and focussing solely on the stories that lead to sales may mean you miss out on valuable brand building coverage. However, good PR should at least do one of the following:
- Get your target audience acquainted with your business offering
- Give you a platform to showcase your expertise
- Highlight a product or service you are offering
- Give you ‘bragging rights’ or the opportunity to share your coverage on social media
- Provide a talking point for your blog / newsletter, highlighting coverage you have secured
- Raise your kudos among your professional network, i.e. through sharing on LinkedIn
- Increase your online profile, drive traffic to your website
- Highlight your expertise to the media, who may then come to you for future stories
- Provide you with an invaluable ‘as featured in’ portfolio which you can then use on your website, marketing literature, etc.
- Help towards your overall marketing objective
- Save you money on advertising
So as you can see, with all the above options, most PR will be valuable to your business. So you may be wondering, what would be deemed as PR for PRs sake? Quite simply, any coverage that serves none of the above. For example, securing a piece that doesn’t focus on a core area of your business, or is in a publication that none of your stakeholders would read (note the word stakeholders, instead of customers).
Of course, between the two extremes there is ‘less relevant’ coverage, i.e. coverage that won’t necessarily get your phone ringing off the hook, but it will help raise your profile and add to your overall brand building strategy. An example of this is if you work in a specialist B2B niche, and you secure coverage in the online version of your local paper. It won’t necessarily speak directly to your business audience, but it would get you column inches and perhaps help with SEO.
So the key takeaway is, getting PR coverage is great, but not all press cuttings or media outlets are created equal. So focus and prioritise. Creating a list of ‘top priority’ and ‘less relevant’, (or tier 1 and tier 2, as we say at HK Communications), will ensure that you are getting a steady stream of relevant media coverage, instead of doing PR for the sake of PR.