More on PR

I recently found myself in an interesting e-mail discussion with a friend of mine (who happens to run a very nice hotel here in Colorado) about the merits of hiring a PR firm, and, more specifically, how you value their effort.


Here’s an excerpt of from my side of the conversation:


“Basically, I am of the mindset that if you’re good enough, you’ll get attention…and editorials. A PR person’s value is not in their ability to “sell” the idea, but in the relationships they have with key media types, especially ones that trust them. If they can pick-up the phone and get the editor in chief of Travel and Leisure to come to lunch and listen to a story, that has value. If they are just going to write press releases and send them to their mailing list, that’s BS.”


The days of mass mailing news releases are gone. So, if that’s a big part of the PR plan (or even a small one), you need help. PR, like most other relationships, is about trust and the ability to get heard…not so much about salesmanship. Your PR firm should not be focused on how to spin and pitch the story. Again, if your experience is truly good enough, that’s not necessary (if it’s not, well, that’s another story). More importantly, they should be offering you a list of people who they know will listen to your story. If the list doesn’t include the media you’re looking for, find a new firm or an alternate way of reaching those contacts.

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