Early in my public relations career I was confronted with one of those clients everyone in this business wants to avoid. For 18 months, he made my life hell. I don’t blame him. I blame me.
Not long after I launched KEF Media in 1986, I began thinking about a television program dedicated to airing my clients’ video news releases. We kicked around a lot of ideas, from “Blue Chip News” to a show-and-tell type show. None of these ever got any traction because they lacked the requisite entertainment value TV programs need to hold the audience’s attention. So we put the idea on hold, deciding if we did such a show, it had to be the right show.
The quality of your work is the best sales tool at your disposal. This has been my mantra since I started my public relations career nearly 40 years ago. Deliver more than what the client is looking for and the client will come back for more. The client will also spread the word, thus becoming an invaluable secondary sales resource.
Things don’t always go the way we plan and sometimes our hopes and expectations crash head-on into corporate realities.
Boutique and small public relations agencies are flourishing. Clients love the kind of personal service they receive when agency owners and senior management are engaged in their accounts.
We live in a digital world and there is little doubt it has supercharged the public relations agency business. But if digital were the best and only way to communicate, corporations, not-for-profits, and others would have long ago abandoned television advertising.
One of the highest compliments I ever received was when the vice president of a major public relations firm said KEF Media is “the agency’s agency.”
The TV landscape has changed, as most PR pros know. “Appointment viewing” is dying. Local television news has morphed into community calendars with newscasters directing viewers to their web sites for more. Local TV news advertisers are car dealers, PI lawyers, and trade schools. Take a look at who advertises on network newscasts: cancer medications, ED treatments, and diabetes medicines. That’s the audience.
8 Ways to Mitigate Negative Media Coverage
Like it or not, the news media is going to do what the news media does. When the reports are negative, the senior management of an organization placed under the media’s microscope can get angry, even vindictive.
When your tanker spills a million gallons of oil in the Bering Sea, you’re going to need to hire a crisis public relations consultant. But when your husband of 10 years has been a notorious sexual predator for decades and accusations of his innumerable assaults finally go public, you just need a new husband.