News flash: You don’t want to be in The Wall Street Journal

When we meet with a prospective client, one of the first things we often hear is, “We want to be in The Wall Street Journal.”

The Wall Street Journal is a prestigious publication and we have worked successfully with reporters there for years. But being in The Wall Street Journal–or any other publication–isn’t really a goal for public relations.

Public relations goals should reflect your corporate and marketing goals. If those goals are to increase brand awareness among customers or to drive sales leads to the company, a publication like The Wall Street Journal may not be the best use of a PR budget.

That can be a difficult conversation to have with prospects. High profile publications are prestigious. However, if your customers get their news from another source, such as trade publications or blogs, that’s where the PR effort should go.

It’s important to know where your various audiences get their news. One of our clients is very focused on getting coverage in TechCrunch. TechCrunch is their prestige publication because it is read by the people they are trying to reach. After we placed a recent article, we received an email from our client saying that within 20 minutes of the story being posted, they heard from important potential partners at several target companies.

The lesson is that every company has a “prestige publication,” one that is read by your audience. It just may not be the one you thought.

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