Media Coverage Is Not An Implied Endorsement

There’s a myth that media coverage in an implied endorsement.  It’s not and, if we’re honest, never was.  The myth was harder to maintain in the days of print and the early days of the internet.

But,in an environment where many journalists include a disclaimer on their social profiles that “a RT is not an endorsement” and increasing numbers of media outlets use unpaid contributors it’s becoming an increasingly untenable position. So why does the PR industry and the media not put you straight?

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How Do I Get Started With Public Relations

It’s a question that we get asked frequently and, contrary to what the mainstream agencies will tell you it doesn’t start with the exchange of thousands of dollars for a media pitching program.  Most businesses are started by a vision – and that’s where every public relations program begins too.  Watch today’s PR Espresso for more details.

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Public Relations IS NOT “Marketing That Builds Credibility”

As if it isn’t bad enough that the majority of the PR industry doesn’t understand what public relations really is now Forbes magazine is getting in on it. When I read a piece on their website last week I figured it would focus on media relations and publicity, but I wasn’t prepared for what this piece said. The author, Kate Harrison, sums up my industry with the explanation, “In other words, PR is marketing that builds credibility.

It wouldn’t be so bad, but this sentence was immediately after the PRSA definition, which describes PR as, “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” I mean, how hard is it to understand? Public relations is about relationships; marketing is about getting them to take action; and publicity is about communicating information to an audience without the intent to either build a relationship with them or get them to take action.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. The PR industry predominantly sells publicity – essentially media pitching – which I’m trying to address by educating entrepreneurs about how PR should really work and why what they have been told constitutes public relations isn’t.  The irony of an industry that an industry that is supposed to be about effective communication is unable to communicate accurately what it is, or explain the value of what it does is not lost on me.  But when a supposed authority like Forbes can’t get it right, what hope is there?

My industry is slowly and painfully committing suicide and it’s being helped by every article that misrepresents it.  So, come on Forbes – how about setting an example and making sure that when your writers talk about my industry they get their facts right?  I’ll be only too happy to help them – public relations for entrepreneurs is about building mutually beneficial relationships with key audiences.  Not maketing. Or Publicity.

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Networking and Relationships

Mutually beneficial relationships are the foundation of every good public relations campaign. One of the best ways to build them often is to offer help to somebody without the expectation of an immediate benefit.  A piece by Gary Vaynerchuk in the Wall Street Journal makes the point that first-mover advantage can be a powerful tool when building relationships and is far more effective than handing out business cards to everybody you meet.

Watch another THINK PR Espresso for help with PR, marketing and publicity strategy?