Top 10 Things Your PR Agency Won’t Tell You (But Should)

By April 26, 2019 May 3rd, 2019 OEAPROTIPS, Public Relations

— A collection of tips, advice and experience picked up over 30 years in the business.

  1. The press release isn’t written for you; it’s written for the news media.  Publicity is about how your news affects others, not why it matters to you.  (That’s just the way it is.)
  2. Favorable public relations results from getting caught in the act of doing something good or doing something well.  PR people help your audiences “discover” this
  3. No person, company or organization has a divine right to favorable publicity (“good PR”) — not politicians or movie stars, not hospitals, universities or animal shelters, not even charities or religions.  It must be earned.
  4. You don’t have as much good “news” as you think. (i.e. 99 times out of 100, the company golf tournament, charitable event or open house is not news. Sorry.)
  5. If you aren’t doing the right thing, no amount of PR (or advertising for that matter) is going to help until things change.  We’ve observed that in most cases both favorable and unfavorable publicity are usually deserved and appropriately dispensed.  (2-B: YES, there IS such thing as bad publicity.)
  6. A positive reputation is never purchased, it is earned, and even then it is conferred by others.
  7. A solid reputation is a financial asset that doesn’t appear on your ledger sheet.  Reputations are stored up like savings in a bank and every day, through various interactions with your publics, you draw against that treasure trying to earn interest on the loan.    
  8. Once lost or damaged, no amount of money can completely buy back a good reputation and nothing can substitute for its value when it’s needed.
  9. Shakespeare wrote “the truth will out.”  Who broke the vase?  How did the car get a dent in the fender?  Who took the last donut?  Since the truth eventually comes out anyway, it might as well be the place we start. 
  10. Half of the PR effort expended on your behalf helps get you noticed by “the news”; the other half is spent advising you how to avoid becoming newsworthy.  See #8 above. (Sometimes, the percentage is even higher.) 

And there you have it. Thanks for coming to our TED Talk.

Need PR help? Reach out to dave@obrienetal.com to get started.

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