What Does a Real Partnership Look Like Between Media & PR Professionals?
This is the first part of at least a two-part series.
As a PR professional do you wonder why it is sometimes so difficult to get exposure for your clients when they’ve got a brilliant product and brilliant message? You send out press releases that are ignored, not being read, or read then immediately deleted. Even when you hit the right medium with the right message, the release might still be ignored.
Why is this?
There are a number of very specific reasons, but before I get to those, let’s look at what some of the good PR people do. I could make a long list of good and outstanding PR people but that would take up all of my space, so I want to give just two examples of people who have impressed me as doing it right.
Researching the Market
When I was working for a lifestyle magazine in Singapore, I was approached by Fabien Levrion to help with promotion for the watch brand he was working for. He had studied the media in Singapore and specifically researched writers who wrote about watches. He noted the type of stories they wrote and what type of readers they would probably appeal to. He also studied the magazines. Who was its audience? It didn’t matter that they were rich, but what were their interests? What were the other type of stories in the magazine and who did they appeal to?
From that assessment he felt that I would give him the type of story he felt was best to promote his watches and be read by the people he felt were the most likely to buy those watches. He was very familiar with the magazine I worked for and the market it reached. His company advertised with the magazine. The result was I got a great trip to Hong Kong and he got the story he wanted. Do we really know if he sold any more watches because of it? Honestly no, but perhaps there was a much better chance than if all those factors had been ignored.
That was a partnership between writer, PR professional, medium, brand and the reader. The reader is also better served when they are delivered stories of value to them.
I hear from too many PR Professionals who are just trying to please their client in the quickest and, easiest way possible. They do not consider this whole process as a deeper partnership between all relevant parties.
The Best of the Best
There are many good PR Professionals whom I am very happy to work with and some who I will do anything for. Cynthia Dammerer, PR executive extraordinaire for Accor, tops my list. Why? I’ve known Cynthia for 12 years. She is smart and engaging. She knows her product thoroughly and she knows the people who can help her promote the hotels and resorts in the global brand. There are others who are good like this so why does Cynthia stand out? Because she takes an interest in me and helps me wherever she can, even when it has nothing to do with the products and services she is paid to promote.
One example. On my website I promote Douglas Yeo’s autobiography, Zero Visibility, which I ghost wrote and published. When she noticed the ad, she wrote to ask all about the book, she bought a copy and found ways to promote it. All of which have nothing to do with her job and her clients. Every contact with her makes me feel as if she genuinely cares about what is happening with me – because she does? When the pandemic began romping around the planet, she was the first PR person to ask how I was doing. She calls me with ideas and suggestions.
Have you ever asked yourself why Accor gets so much coverage on Asian Journeys’ website and in the print magazine? Ask no more.
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