I’ll admit it, I like fast food. Have since I was a kid. When I was a single, young professional, it seemed a lot more convenient to swing by a drive-thru to get a burger or taco than go home, cook, clean, etc.
It’s a habit I have kept for some time and have slowly worked to wean away from—both from a sophistication standpoint of simply enjoying better foods with better company and also a health standpoint. (In case you didn’t know, not the best food in the world comes through a window.) I’ve come to appreciate the journey toward healthful eating and what goes into good food.
Publicity solutions that communication experts provide to clients are like fast food. Have something to announce? Write a press release. Have something that really isn’t newsworthy but you have to meet your quota to make your client happy? Write a press release.
When you write a press release, make sure you put it out on the wire and pitch every reporter you know, because it’s news, right? Unfortunately, this is a mindset I see way too often in the world of communications.
Whether it’s because we are afraid to push back on client demands (internal or external), are lazy, or just don’t know any better, we settle for the old “we need a press release” strategy. I’m here to tell you it’s not good.
As professional communicators, our job is to provide counsel to clients—counsel in terms of what topics have news value, what topics are better used on maybe a self-publishing platform, and what topics simply should be kept in the drawer. We should think ourselves as message chefs who know when to sprinkle a bit in this channel, a bit over there, and when to make a full-course meal instead.
That’s why our clients should turn to us, and if you have the conversation with clients on this topic, they’ll thank you later. To be an effective communications professional you must understand that what we can provide—multi-channel communication vehicles—can help support real business needs.
Need more people to know about your new product? Launch a YouTube-based video series that you also promote via social ads and tie into in-store video that also can be announced via a press release.
[RELATED: Learn why you need a content marketing plan at our December content marketing boot camp.]
Clients pay agencies (and even internal employees) good money to think. Don’t settle for a drive-by solution. Instead, carefully think through how a well-orchestrated program can help your client shine. It’s the kind of feast they won’t forget and will keep coming back to you for.
Matt Braun is the director of public relations at digital marketing and branding agency Hanson Dodge Creative.