When PR Stops Working

Got this interesting post by Guy Kawasaki which explains why PR doesn't work in certain situations. According to the PRSite.com's Margie Zable Fisher, the top 10 reasons are:

1) The client doesn’t understand the publicity process.

2) The scope of work is not detailed and agreed upon by both parties.

3) The client has not been properly trained on how to communicate with the media.

4) The client and the PR person or firm are not a good match.

5) The client has not gotten results quickly enough and ends the relationship too soon.

6) PR people don’t explain the kind of publicity placements a client will most likely receive.

7) Clients don’t realize that what happens after you get the publicity coverage is sometimes more important than the actual placement.

8) Clients refuse to be flexible on their story angles.

9) Clients get upset when the media coverage is not 100% accurate or not the kind of coverage that they wanted.

10) Clients won’t change their schedules for the media.

(more details are in the link here)

Notice that most of the reasons above seem to point the finger back to the client, thus absolving the PR agency of most of the responsibility for PR success. While I do agree with most of the points above, one must also realise that there are two other parties in the equation: the media and the PR consultant.

Any effective PR strategy needs to look at the relationships, processes and dynamics that all three parties have with each other. Just pointing the finger at the client alone will not solve the problem if there isn't enough effort to educate him or her.

In addition, understanding and working together must be a two-way win-win thing. While publicity is good, it isn't the be-all and end-all in the business world. Sometimes, one needs to see if one's business strategy and tactics lends itself favourably to publicity or should employ other approaches instead.

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