This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!
Unrealistic PR expectations that you should strike from the record
I rarely like to blog about negative stuff (well unless you can make it REALLY funny and laughable afterwards) but I’ve noticed recently that clients have found themselves disappointed not because of our lack of quality work, but because they had some expectations about media or our work in their minds that weren’t delivered to them — but that weren’t promised, either. I thought it would be worth listing some of these so that you don’t find yourself wishing for them and disappointed if they don’t come true. (In my opinion, wishing is never a bad thing, but it’s also a good thing to live in reality.)
1. Being everywhere. Remember something that happened recently called the Federal Election? Well when stuff like this happens once in a blue moon, media outlets have to shuffle their resources, and that means that what might have been 3-5 pages of arts & culture coverage in a major newspaper turns into 1-2 because of the resources that move over to harder news stories. Also, if you find your story covered in a few major outlets, you can’t expect everyone else to also follow so that you’re in every single outlet in existence (see #3). Sometimes that happens, but it will lose momentum as time goes by. It’s not typical to be on the front cover of any publication for an extended period of time. Even scandals get old.
2. TV stations sending cameras at your command. We’ve got so few hard news stations in our city already, so if you’ve got an event going, it’s a good thing if one station is there. Resources depend on the news priorities of the day, so unless you’ve got a crisis that involves most of the general public, don’t expect to be on the evening news of every local channel.
3. Turning down coverage opportunities. Even if the outlets that are reporting on you aren’t the ones you want, remember that coverage means that some media think your story is newsworthy. And you never know, sometimes it takes a smaller outlet for the major ones to notice it and pick it up. If you really disagree with an opportunity that’s come along, discuss it with your agency or publicist. It’s just like in the playground – if some kids want to play with you, you’re cool enough. No one likes a bragger, show-off, or diva.
4. Sitting back, doing nothing, and expecting greatness to show up. I understand that some clients are shy and cringe at interview opportunities or being in front of a camera. But if you decline an interview or relationship opportunity at a specific time, you might have lost that in the short term. With most everything in life that I think is good for me even if I am scared of it, say “Yes” and then work on what you need later. It’s quite the surprise when an opportunity comes by and clients say “actually, we’ll pass on that one.” Really? Isn’t this what you hired us for?
5. Blowing your top. This one is rare, but it happens. We understand that there is a process that we follow, but not everything goes according to plan. This is a great chance to challenge your emotional IQ. Don’t get angry at media, or at your PR agency. If we make mistakes, we’ll be the first to admit them. But when things go wrong and you want someone to blame, take it out on something inanimate, then come back and discuss some solutions like adults.