This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!
The advantage of simplicity vs embellishment
Leo and I have spent some of our lunch and bedtime conversations talking about PR-related issues. What’s right, what’s wrong, which facts came first, and how that affects the way people consume the news story.
As storytellers, we also run the danger of embellishing facts. The facts are the best way to tell a story. To try and make it sound better by adding descriptive language runs the risk of painting a more positive or negative picture, and therefore clouds the truth. I also had a conversation with a colleague the other night who was close to the chemical fire at Port Metro Vancouver. She told me about how the media was even spinning what happened in that situation after getting the facts from the company.
It would be nice if we could just send a story to ONE news outlet of the best fit for the client’s story, and trust that that is enough. But it isn’t. Media companies piggyback content from each other, and the client usually pays us to get their stories in as many outlets as possible.
In scrolling my Bloglovin feed today, I realized that the blogs I clicked on were the ones whose headlines blatantly told the topic of the blog post. The others – though written thoughtfully – were too vague and resulted in my disinterest. Here are some tips that I give to myself and to you on simplifying your PR.
1. Invest the most time in the headline. Like I said, the headline (whether in a media pitch or blog post) results in the click and the interest.
2. Pare down your social media. Know which networks you need to be on to reach your ideal clients or customers. Focus your efforts on these, and putting your best content forward (80% other topics, 20% sales related) during peak engagement times.
3. Use hashtags properly. A friend of mine used to not put spaces in between hashtags, which defeats the entire point of using them. She’s gotten better lately. A few posts I have read on the number of recommended hashtags say that you should use 3-5 hashtags in an Instagram photo description, and then the remaining number (to a maximum of 30 total) in the comments.
4. Get help. If PR tools seem overwhelming to you and you know it would bog down your bread and butter work, delegate it to staff and invest in resources to teach them, or outsource them to someone or a company that understands your work and aligns with your story. Even if it’s for once a week or month, it’s better to put something out there rather than leaving your PR in the dark.