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Expose yourself properly: No story means no PR

Expose yourself properly: No story means no PR

September 08, 2009 by Emily Cagle (@EmilyCagle)

So, you’ve agreed to sponsor an exciting initiative.


You can now expect a logo or mention on the sponsored party’s website, marketing materials and at the event, and you might even get a mention in press coverage. Fantastic exposure.


At this point, you might start seeking coverage in your own industry’s ‘trade publications’, but here’s a warning:


In most cases, the media simply don't view sponsorships themselves as newsworthy.


For example, if you’re a legal firm sponsoring a craft festival, the legal press is very unlikely to cover it. There’s simply no story there, and no amount of padding will change that.


In fact, unless you have hard evidence that the sponsorship generated such success for your business that others in your industry could learn from it, the media probably won’t touch it. Worse still, if you try to PR it anyway, you risk causing long-term damage.


Editors receive literally hundreds of press releases a day, and a weak story could have them reaching for the delete key for every future press release you put out – even ones that deserve attention.


If you want to bring your company's achievements into the spotlight, by all means engage a PR professional, but keep in mind that while a well thought out approach may take longer to get up and running, it will yield much better results in the long term.


Of course, with a crack team of creatives and an unlimited budget, it could be argued that anything is possible, but as a rule: no story = no PR.

Posted in PR | Tagged sponsorship, PR, media, marketing, editor | 2 comments


jamesgurd's picture

Hi Emily,
Very true. A lot of content is produced for PR that does not target the audience, the journalists & editors. Weak stories do not enhance the reputation of professional writers. To get the required attention and impact, you have to have something unique or genuinely interesting to share.
I like Rob's idea below. Increasingly social media is being used for Online PR and Twitter is a good tool to gauge interest (provided you have a follower base and use a unique hashtag to monitor conversation). If nobody bites, you can turn to the tweets you engage with the most and ask them for feedback.
Unfortunately lazy marketing can often obscure great stories. I use Twitter to update my network with industry news and interesting articles - I also put up links when we have won a new Client or produced a white paper - by adding value on a daily basis and building trust, when I do tweet about something relevant to our brand, I get a greater click through because they know I'm not just spamming.

robhallums's picture

Absolutely agree. How many press releases (even in this enlightened age) are still "we've won some business" or "we're great we are". It's dull, it's pointless and it engages nobody...

A good acid test is to release your piece on Twitter and see how many people want to follow it. Does it have a big and engaging headline (your tweet)? Does it have keywords? How many people click or retweet? If the answer is no to the above, I'd argue you should go back to the drawing board and rethink your angle.

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