October 20, 2017
It seems like all clients ever want is their name in the news. Many PR flaks will do their darnedest to make it happen. But, sometimes, the very best strategy for your client is to stay OUT of the news. Here are 5 times that’s true.
- You have nothing substantive to say. Though the launch of your SuperJumboDeluxe version 4.0 is incredibly exciting within your organization, unless it dramatically and positively changes the way users experience it, then sit down, it’s not your turn. Your company’s industry award for being the best at widget control is also not newsworthy except to maybe your risk assessor or accountant.
- Something BIG has happened in the world. If there’s a town struck by a 500-year flood, or a city reeling from a mass shooting, or a major political upheaval that’s got everyone talking, hold that thought about your product, service or idea. At best you will be ignored by most media and at worst you will seem out of touch and without heart. If you must enter the conversation, leave your brand out of it. Be helpful. Express compassion or hope. Offer assistance.
- Your stakeholders are mad at you. If you’ve done something that has customers calling for an investigation of your company, or if they’re praying for your demise because you said or did something that was thoughtless or stupid, now’s not the time to be pressing the point to anyone or defending yourself, as you may incite more anger. The only caveat to this is if you’re willing to eat crow. Then by all means, engorge, and do so fully and genuinely, without qualification. Then, when the passion of the moment has died down, join in the conversation, with grace, humility and a plan for positive action forward.
- You’re not willing to go all. the. way. Many times I have had clients tell me they want to tell a story to change hearts or minds about something, but they want to leave key details out. The problem is that people want the whole enchilada. The media know that too, so they will ask All The Questions. Trying to influence people with only half the story is deceitful and wrong. So tell your story, but tell the whole story or re-strategize. Do the work to determine how to handle the scary questions. You may be surprised to find that people appreciate the honesty even if it’s not all good.
- You were just in there. No one likes a media hound. Overexposure can backfire in so many ways. For one, it puts your every move under a microscope. Second, people get tired of it. We like variety – we want to read about many brands, not just yours. And third, the media want variety too, so going back too often can lead them to ignore or block you. Be strategic and discriminant with what you put out there.