Wednesday, June 4, 2008

What is missing from PR plans?

I was doing a little PR research and stumbled across this article. As some of you know, this is what I do for a living. I would have to agree with the author and find some of her comments very interesting. Hope you enjoy.

Do You Know What is Missing From Your Public Relations Plan?

"In my nearly twenty years of experience in the public relations industry the missing link to many publicity campaigns is positioning! I have found that by correctly positioning each book, product or service you can literally double your media exposure."

Friedman continues, "So what is positioning? Presenting yourself to the media in a way that immediately grabs and holds their interest in your topic."

It "positions" your topic with other similar topics in the news so that those reading your press materials can easily understand the subject and see how it compares to others like it. Even though positioning has been around for years, it is still an elusive fact for many people looking to promote their book, product or service. So what this means is that when you consider your press release, the rules need to be rewritten.

Marsha Friedman says, "You always need to put a well-thought out strategy, mixed with creativity into the presentation of your product and service to the media. Let 's face it. With the infinitely growing competition in the market, there 's a demand on businesses to get more aggressive about their promotion. Positioning is the missing link to your promotion that will really help you add lots of media successes to your public relations initiative." Here are some tips to position yourself:

1. Make sure that the materials you will be supplying the media with will present a good, clear communication of your message and it 's relevance in today 's world.

2. Take a look at what you are promoting and find the "pearls" - those pieces of information that set it apart. Or, those statements or assertions that are alarming or ground-breaking about your product and service.

3. Take a close look at the media and see how other items like yours are being handled and portrayed. Are they being treated well? Ignored?

4. Distill this information into a two page release jam-packed with information and an exciting headline. Keep in mind that you've got to grab and retain the attention of a very busy producer.

5. Don't require the producer or editor to use their imagination to see how the topic would be of interest to their listeners/viewers/readers. Give them an instant concept of the show or article you are suggesting.

6. Don't send out the same release to the different media. Remember that they are each looking for something different. A 20 minute interview on a talk radio show is not the same as a 5 minute television news interview.

7. Always include those special features about yourself (or your spokesperson) that make you an authority on the topic; why you would make a good guest (and not put the audience to sleep) and what questions could be asked during the interview.

8. You can be a bit more sales-y with your talk radio press releases, but always remember to give a clear idea of the show and why you are an expert to talk about your topic.

So there you go, some tips to really get your press release in order. But don't forget that without a relentless phone follow up campaign you may not be able to reap the fruits of your labor. Often times the media never receives your materials or was interested but just too busy to call for more information. Following up by phone puts you ten steps ahead of the hundreds of publicists desperately vying for their attention.

About the Author

For 20 years Marsha Friedman has been a leading authority on public relations as CEO of EMSI.
(Article taken from


Carrie said...

Thank you for sharing this article you found. I'm just getting my feet wet in the PR world and so far these tips do really work! You need to follow up! Producers are busy and do appreciate the call.

"Duellie" said...