All Media, All the Time, Makes PR a Dull Game
We were recently asked to talk to a local Austin company about their PR program and some project work they were hoping to get some help on. Going into the meeting, we were thinking the project work would, of course, involve media relations (as did the company we were talking to). After really listening to their situation, their goals and what they hoped for as an end result, it became pretty clear to us that media relations would be a roundabout way to meet their needs. We drafted our proposal accordingly – focusing on improving internal communications, providing better content to their sales staff, and improving the feedback loop to ensure they were listening to their team.
We submitted our project proposal and waited with baited breath to hear back. The thing is, it is nerve-racking to submit a proposal that DOESN’T focus intently on media relations. After all, we are a PR firm and therefore we specialize in media relations. And we do. But at the same time, we don’t. We focus on communications. We do a ton of different work for our clients (believe me, it isn’t all media all the time here, at all), but if asked what my job entails by an outsider, I would say, almost immediately, media relations – meaning I support the media in their effort to report the news and I work with my clients to make sure their news gets to interested media. Media relations is the presumed activity of choice.
So we just heard back from the client (oh yeah, we got that business) that our approach was really appreciated – that we looked at their needs and based our recommendations off of what would most benefit them rather than just sending the same ol’ same ol’ media relations campaign.
It, of course, makes sense to do the above. But I don’t think it always happens. Just like it makes sense to tailor a pitch to the media, but clearly that doesn’t always happen. It is nice to be at firm that appreciates the right answer – not just the expected answer or the easiest answer.