The first rule of PR

So, we get a call from an editor. “Can you do me an article, someone’s let me down – only I need it by Friday (two days’ time).”

Yes, it’s a tight turnaround, but it’s one of the biggest compliments you can get as a PR.

“Of course,” we answer, while wondering why any PR person has let him down in the first place.

The first rule of PR: NEVER let down an editor or journalist. Never.

It might be the last chance you ever get with them. At best it’s a tough road back.

The hardest thing in the PR world is to secure a feature in a major publication. To then not deliver is criminal.

Sometimes deadlines, especially for features, can be a little tight, but you always deliver.

This is one of the few times when you might put pressure on your client to get a story approved for issue. Yes, they can be busy, but the deadline needs to be met whatever else is going on.

Nor does a client mind when you do this, they are relying on you to look after the PR programme and the deadlines, so they don’t have to think about it. One more thing they can confidently cross off their ‘to do’ list.

It’s a trust thing. Of course, it doesn’t happen straight away with a new client. Why would it? We’re all a little bit cautious with the new supplier or agency. Can they deliver like they said? Will they drive things forward like they said?

You’ve got to prove yourself, over and over until that trust starts to build and then keep it building.

As a PR agency we effectively have two clients to serve simultaneously: our paying client and the editors and journalists we’re trying to convince we have a great story.

You can’t afford to let either ‘client’ down, either with the quality of the story or the timely delivery of it.

Of course, you’ve got to deliver for your proper client first and foremost, but if you fall foul of the first rule of PR, you won’t.

Categories: Opinion PR Marketing