INNOVATE

The Things To Do Right Now To Revive Your Public Relations Efforts

Sometimes the simplest solution is the best one, and here are some tips on getting better exposure right this second.

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BY Ed Zitron - 10 Oct 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

In Queens of the Stone Age's Make It Wit Chu, Josh Homme sang that "sometimes the same is different, but mostly it's the same." It's easy to get stuck in the same old habits, and even when you try new things they're stodgy, boring or are just new iterations of what you've been doing before. The key to doing well in public relations is to be willing to think a little differently, even when everyone thinks you're going too far. It might not just be your company - it could even be you being mentally stuck in the mud - but many solutions to your failing public relations efforts and the secrets to fixing your public relations nightmare are as simple as turning things on their head. Here are some ideas to do so.

Throw Out Everything

If I had a dollar for every time I've heard someone say "that's just how we do things," I'd have at least ten dollars. Sticking to the same processes may have worked for a while, but if the media is finding you utterly dull, it may be a time to try a totally different pitch. Think differently. Think weirdly. If you have assumptions about your customers based on a small study, perhaps it's time to consider that study might not be the best. Furthermore, it may be the people you work with - maybe despite being really nice people, they're actually bad at public relations.

Go With Your Gut (And Stop Lying To Yourself)

It's a learned skill to admit when you're wrong. Perhaps it's that you just don't care much for the client anymore. Perhaps it's that you've gone to every single member of the media that would care, and there's nothing new to say. Perhaps the original proposal said one thing and the actual relationship turned into another. Either it's very easy to blame other things - that the media just "doesn't get it," that you're doing enough work (sometimes you're not) or that you just are having a bad week due to X or Y. Or maybe it's that something that's a bit unusual might work, but eh, that's a long shot...well, give it a shot.

If your body's saying that something's the case and it's not "I'm actually in a simulation," it's likely telling you something.

Start Being A Real Human

For some reason, Public Relations Professionals act, write and talk like they're some sort of illiterate's version of the replicants from Blade Runner. It's reasonable - there's a certain way you see people in your industry speak, and you follow their lead. You might be worried that you won't sound professional. The media doesn't, in most cases, give a hoot as far as how professional you sound. In fact, they really don't care at all! When they're spoken to about "stakeholders" and "consumers" their general reaction is that you "sound like" kind of an "idiot" and they'd "rather talk to somebody else." I don't blame them! Start talking like you're talking to your friends. Be honest, forthright, factual yet not a garbled press release. Talk about things in the way that a real human would and you'll do just fine.

Understand Your Industry

Using technology as an example, one of around a hundred things I find my peers disgusting for is their paper-thin understanding of the technology industry. I'm not saying that a person needs to be able to code, or to name every SKU from the Apple store, but not only is there a base-level understanding you should have about the industry news of the day, but of the products therein. You should use them, know them, know their intricacies, their histories and be able to have a conversation on the level of a reporter.