Revealed: The PR Plans of Multi-Million Dollar Businesses

    October 20, 2010

    On a daily basis, I work with a small number of multi-million dollar businesses with 100+ employees that have fairly substantial budgets for a PR campaign. I also work with a select number of entrepreneurs with smaller budgets in a coaching capacity or in one of my special programs that focus on one area of PR.

    After comparing these two types of clients, I find there are distinct differences in their goals and strategies when it comes to public relations. While it can be argued that businesses of the former size can afford to outsource, their goals and strategies can, and should, be mimicked by entrepreneurs that do their own PR, or outsource a portion of it to a publicist that can handle these tasks for them.

    Communicating to Buyers, Not to the Media

    Entrepreneurs constantly tell me that if they could just score that one placement in a big magazine, they would be satisfied with their PR efforts.

    My multi-million dollar clients focus on developing content to educate their prospective customers and to become known as an industry "thought leader," rather than spending time creating pitches and press releases that "might" get picked up by a big media outlet.

    The information we create is placed in the form of blogs, articles, tweets, Facebook updates, newsletters, and information products (such as eBooks and podcasts). Because this content is so juicy, the media often picks up on it, and they end up landing interviews and excerpts in targeted outlets. This content is incredibly strategic, timely, and produced almost as if we are our own media outlet.

    **Note: these clients are all product-based businesses, but this is easily adapted to service-based businesses and "experts"

    Humanize a Brand

    My multi-million dollar clients appoint one person (usually the CEO or COO) to be the "face" of the company. Even though customers are usually working with a sales person and not directly with this company spokesperson, they still feel like they are getting to know him/her through the content they produce. I hear feedback almost every week from the sales teams that a specific customer couldn't wait to work with the company because of how amazing the person and the content they provide is that we've "publicized."

    Focusing Small

    In the years I've worked with these clients never once have I been asked to pitch Oprah, The Today Show, Wall Street Journal, or any other big, splashy media outlet. In fact, I would probably get fired as their agency of record if I wasted my time doing so!

    What these clients want is to focus on small, influential outlets that reach their target market. These are both consumer outlets and trade publications. The reason? They would rather have lots of placements that reach specific audiences than waste time going after one big fish.

    The great thing is that it's easy to build relationships with smaller, focused outlets and understand how they wish to receive news from the company. These outlets may have a small circulation, but it doesn't mean they don't have a big influence. Customers are impressed with our regular features in these places, and even the large circulation media takes notice.

    I've scored covering in plenty of big outlets such as NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and Good Morning America because of the coverage we achieved with one of these seemingly "smaller" outlets. Small may mean small "audience," but not small "influence."

    What do you think of these PR strategies employed by multi-million dollar businesses?


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