The “Right” Amount of PR: Finding the sweet spot of media coverage
Public relations is a fantastic branding tool that can help increase your visibility and credibility while illustrating your expertise through editorial coverage. (Conversely, advertising only affords you the opportunity to just “tell” someone you’re the best and that they should listen to you – not a ton of credibility in that!) However, there are some instances when positive media coverage can work against you. Even with the best of intentions, if you’re not staying current or pursuing the right opportunities for you and your business, you may be detracting from your brand, rather than building it. And if you’re not maximizing your media reach, you’re limiting the success that could be possible. Here are a few items to consider to ensure you find your “sweet spot” for media coverage:
- Leveraging old placements. Of course, your Wall Street Journal article in 2012 was a huge accomplishment then, but if this is the only media interview you’ve participated in and you’re still leveraging it, it may create further questions for your prospective clients. It brings to light that yes, you’ve been quoted once, but why haven’t you been interviewed since then? The markets and economy have changed a lot over the past six years – are you not as knowledgeable now as you were then? It can be a cause for pause with potential clients, questioning if you’re evolving with the times.
- Quantity vs. quality. Who wouldn’t want more coverage? Of course, most people want more, but there is a time when “off-topic” coverage can come at the expense of your brand and message. In these instances, the old adage “less is more” can be applied to working with the media. Effective PR works to build your brand and establish your expertise in specific topics and services that you specialize. However, when you start to veer off topic and take any interview opportunity that comes your way, you dilute your brand. If you’re a wealth manager and you’re taking interviews on credit card debt reduction, or if you are a retirement planner and taking interviews on how to buy pet insurance—you leave the viewers, readers or listeners highly confused. What’s worse is when they contact your office to learn more about that irrelevant topic—do you want to be in the pet insurance business? Then don’t interview on that topic. If you mix your messages, people don’t understand the true value you can provide, and your other, more relevant media placements get buried.
- Focusing only on one type of media. Advisors who are active with PR often gravitate toward one type of media – mostly radio or TV. If you have a radio show or a recurring spot on TV news, but that’s all you do in the media, you’re missing a huge segment of people who get their news from the other types of media outlets. This also holds true in pursuing both local and national media coverage. Focusing solely on local leaves behind a huge opportunity to boost your credibility by landing coverage with highly-recognizable and credible outlets such as The Wall Street Journal or CNBC. On the flipside, focusing on only national PR means you’re missing out on the chance to get in front of the top prospects in your own backyard. If you take the same messages across all different types of media platforms, TV, radio, print and online on both the local and national level, you’ll maximize your reach and opportunity.
Leveraging old placements, diluting your brand through irrelevant interview topics, or minimizing your reach can all lessen the impact of positive PR. A comprehensive yet targeted approach to media relations can supercharge your marketing and give you the notoriety you need to stand out in a crowded marketplace.