I read an entertaining article this morning regarding public relations work.  A PR professional listed thirteen ominous mentions, which sound cacophonic bells and whistles off within a service provider’s head.  Is your business currently receiving public relations services or working with an in-house professional?  Are you resounding some of the same sentiments mentioned in the article?  Is your campaign a bleak, dramatic picture of what it’s supposed to be, leaving participants in a state of mystery?  Let’s explore some things mentioned in the article and better your understanding of what is and isn’t under a PR pros control.

Beyond Control

Some things may be beyond your PR professional’s control.  While the end goal clearly spells ‘more exposure,’ it is necessary to understand your public relations pro is a part of a larger system and must adhere to regulations and the whims of reporters and editors.

“Can you find what the reporter will ask before the interview?”

“Can I do the interview over email?”

“Why weren’t we in this story?”

The above are some things mentioned in the article by disappointed clients.  Often the PR pro must defer to the ultimate decisions of reporters and editors.  Sometimes reporters may tell your public relations professional one thing, yet an editor makes another executive decision (bumps a story) and unfortunately, your business’ exposure suffers for it…

It actually happened to one of our brands a few years ago.  Our CEO, Ken Wisnefski, was set to do an interview on Hardball with Chris Matthews.  We were all very excited for this opportunity for great exposure.  But wait!  Who decides to drive his way into the headlines like a free-roaming bronco?  None other than OJ Simpson!  Unfortunately, Ken’s chances to be interviewed were ‘taken’ by a pressing story and executive decisions, which were out of our control.

You’re an Asset

Last Friday, I wrote about a few SEO-related things a business owner should ‘know.’  It’s important to understand, while a service provider is doing a bulk of the work, your input is needed and considered an asset.  PR work is sometimes very contingent on sensitivity of time and the participation of business consumers.

“I need this to be done in an hour.”

“We need this to be viral.”

“We’ve decided to go in a different direction.”

“I want this news embargoed.” [when it's not news]

Those are a few things mentioned in the PR professional’s article, related to the ongoing participation of the client.  Understand public relations providers must have enough time to successfully pitch stories and position your brand to garner great exposure.  In many cases, going viral is contingent on other factors besides a penned press release and major news source distribution.  The story’s content, industry ‘influencers,’ and the timing of the release also play a major role in the public’s reception.  Ensure you are giving your public relations professionals all the necessary tools, allowing them to recruit exposure for your brand.