By Alan Graner
A press release isn’t PR. Although it’s a reliable PR tactic, it’s the least thing public relations firms do.
A dirty little secret
In fact (and please don’t tell anybody this), you don’t even need a PR firm to issue a press release. All that’s required is writing it (there are free templates you can download from the Internet) and publishing it on a free news wire. Of course, you won’t get much traction and you may embarrass yourself, but you can do it. And guess what? It’s FREE! (Unless you use a pay newswire.)
Real public relations is an entire arsenal of strategic and tactical weapons, including:
- Having the knowledge and expertise to help you plan and execute an effective marketing communications strategy.
- Creating clear, concise and consistent marketing messages.
- Possessing the gravitas to talk directly to top editors, analysts, bloggers and influencers.
- Placing articles in appropriate publications.
- Providing speaking gigs at conventions, trade shows and panel discussions.
- Obtaining interviews with the press and talk shows.
- Appearing on cable shopping channels.
- Providing press coverage before, during and after trade shows.
- Assisting with new media.
- Setting up product reviews
- Producing web content.
- Issuing white papers.
- Protecting you from time-wasters who want to talk to you.
- Helping manage a crisis.
- Preparing annual reports and other mandated documents.
- Developing direct mail campaigns.
…the list goes on.
Moreover, any decent PR firm goes beyond simply issuing the release. They follow up with targeted media, private lists, selected influencers. They look for opportunities to use the release in different forms for maximum exposure. And they disseminate it through social media.
So no, a press release isn’t PR. But it’s a start.
How do you transcend press releases?
Alan Graner is Chief Creative Officer at Daly-Swartz Public Relations, an Orange County, CA business public relations and marketing content firm. For content that makes you stand out from the crowd, email Jeffrey Swartz at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit www.dsprel.com.