One of the first questions we ask new PR clients (and all clients for that matter) is what winning looks like for them. Everyone has different goals when they engage an agency like Fidelitas. When it comes to PR, some are in need of reputation rehab, and others are looking to build credibility for a younger brand. Others remain focused on audience attention share and top-of-mind awareness with their target audience through superior positioning strategies.

Many marketing leaders mistakenly believe that any PR is good PR as it generally will lift top-of-mind awareness, regardless of context. This is a dangerous way to operate. (Hint: If you’ve read this far, the answer is no, not all PR is good PR.)

We look at PR the same way we look at relationships with our clients and customer experience optimization on a website. Every relationship is like a bank, and every interaction results in a deposit into or withdrawal from the relational equity between two parties. Some “deposits” and “withdrawals” are larger than others, but there’s no such thing as a neutral interaction.

Some examples of negative interactions in earned media include poorly conducted interviews (see: pretty much every interview from Robinhood’s CEO during the Gamestop debacle), poor audience/topic fit, or perhaps worst of all, a negative product review. Some negative coverage is unavoidable- as much as any crisis is unavoidable- but poor coverage resulting from a lack of media training, poor scheduling, or a lack of quality control with product seeded to journalists needs to be avoided.

Marketing and communications leaders need to take extra care to control what they can control, from being selective of opportunities to avoiding setting their brands up for failure by booking spokespeople on a rigorous schedule (leaving them susceptible to appearing tired, frazzled, or disinterested) or letting the brand’s warehouse blindly ship product to media without any sort of quality control from the communications team. That’s why it’s so important to develop a PR strategy in sync with the brand’s goals while minimizing self-induced harm to the brand.

Need help sorting out your earned media strategy? We’d love to talk- just shoot us a reply to this blog and we’ll be in touch.