When talking with a prospective client recently, we were asked to discuss a PR program that failed and why it failed. That’s an important question.
Our answer: PR programs that fail usually do so because of a lack of information from the client.
Most companies hire us to build brand awareness and help drive sales leads, which is something we’ve been doing successfully for many clients. There’s no magic behind what we do: we succeed mainly because of hard work, a good understanding of how to build trust with reporters, and the ability to package good stories based on information we receive from our clients.
And not necessarily in that order.
In many ways, we are information brokers. Our ability to succeed depends on a good flow of company and product information, customer use-cases and executive thought leadership. If information dries up, the program will fail, regardless of how hard we work.
We have regular meetings with clients to learn what’s new and to discuss strategies for using the information, but often it’s the off-the-cuff remarks that result in some of the best coverage.
For example, a client mentioned during a call that she was headed to California because she had the opportunity to land on an aircraft carrier and spend the night on the vessel. What?! We got really excited about this and told her to get a good photo of herself on the ship.
When she returned, we discussed what she learned and how it applied to her business. Within a week, we secured a byline article for her on this topic in her local business weekly.
So when a client says he’s not sure how much information he should give us, we always respond, “More is better!”