Not long ago, The Wall Street Journal ran a damaging story about a personnel-consulting firm that had charged different clients for essentially the same report. The article included quotes from human resources executives who had paid for the agency’s recommendations, but didn’t mind the flimflam.
Not long ago, The Wall Street Journal ran a damaging story about a
personnel-consulting firm that had charged different clients for
essentially the same report. The article included quotes from human
resources executives who had paid for the agency’s recommendations, but
didn’t mind the flimflam.
If a PR outfit did something similar to your company, how would you
Asked another way: how much are willing to pay for PR research, analysis
In recent years, many PR plans have become remarkably predictable:
conjure up a perfect setting for a press conference; craft a standout
news kit and creative giveaways; film a VNR; and record an audio news
Now, while these steps are cartoons, variations do populate a number of
real integrated marketing PR plans aimed at the public, the media and
employees/stockholder. And often, these approaches are devised by
individuals who have not been in a newsroom in a long time, if ever.
Every year, businesses spend millions on questionable PR approaches for
- in the words of Jerry Seinfeld - ’re-gifted’ communications plans.
As the next millennium approaches, here are some questions to ask before
you sign for an ’innovative’ PR campaign.
If you have a newsworthy announcement, do you need dancing bears just
because some insecure PR people say hoopla will help turn out
Do you really want to be in newspapers that are desperate for
pre-wrapped copy? And how desperate are you for ’readership’
When you’ve been told that a TV station has aired a VNR, have you ever
seen transcripts of the broadcast? With more that 12,000 US radio news
outlets, can you be satisfied that 600 rinky-dink stations agreed to
receive your ANR? Are you in public relations or client relations?
It has become apparent that too few people drill below the surface to
explore either proposed plans or past results. And too few PR folks have
first-hand knowledge of how a news desk operates. A Washington Post
veteran recently told me that PR people ’fancy themselves ’spin doctors’
or ’people persons,’ but many are out of touch with today’s news needs
and some seem self-deluded.’
Clearly, this is no time for PR organizations to be out of touch with
their audience - reporters. As the 20th century prepares to turn, it’s
time to scrutinize one-size-fits-all formulas and long-accepted
standards and measurements. The 21st century will be no time for
off-the-shelf PR analyses, classic publicity campaigns and same-old,
same-old strategy binders.
Or, for that matter, self-delusion.