THINKPIECE: There’s no time for off-the-shelf PR analyses and the same-old, same-old campaign plans

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.

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

react?



Asked another way: how much are willing to pay for PR research, analysis

and brainstorming?



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

release.



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

reporters?



Do you really want to be in newspapers that are desperate for

pre-wrapped copy? And how desperate are you for ’readership’

numbers?



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.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in