Examining Extreme Expectations
Location: A mid-sized company that has been gaining steam and it now venturing into using professional public relations for the first time.
The situation: The company hires a major public relations firm, headed by the evil PR Company CEO, Damian Detritus. In his sales pitch to the company, Damian makes it seem like he will be able to instantly increase sales after writing and publishing a single press release. He also makes it seem as if any and all public relations and marketing efforts he makes the phones will ring off the hook. Now, after a few months into their contract with Detritus’ company, the phones are still not ringing off the hook and the company is considering slashing their budget for public relations. They are also looking to get out of their contract, but Damian Detritus is already bringing in lawyers to keep them locked in. The company is desperate and feels they are throwing away money for an effort that is not delivering as promised.
The solution: The Spotlight immediately leaps into action, upon hearing about the problems the company is having. Arriving in just the nick of time he stops the lawyers and the managers in their tracks using his Spotlight of Truth, emanating from the ring he wears on his hand. Even Damian Detritus is frozen in his tracks.
The Spotlight explains that, for most companies, public relations has a cumulative effect. A single press release, or even just a few months of PR work, is often not enough to increase sales or bring about sweeping changes in the company’s profile. It takes months, and sometimes up to a year, to establish a company’s credibility and consistent coverage in the local and trade press.
The Spotlight expels Damian Detritus and his evil PR minions from the company. Hurtling curses, the evil Detritus promises to seek revenge against the Spotlight and his crusade for truth and honesty among PR professionals.
With their expectation managed, the company now sees that a long-term PR and marketing plan is the best solution. The Spotlight, working at superhuman speed, sits down with the management and marketing teams and lays out a series of PR moves, including press releases, social media strategy and bylined articles. He also helps them decide which company events and maneuvers are worthy of a press release, which ones lend themselves to a bylined article and which might get more local press coverage while others might be of interest to trade press.
Over time, the name recognition of the company improves. Eventually, the Spotlight develops a press tour for key members of management and a speaking tour of local trade events. The company becomes top-of-mind among their intended customers and their sales increase.
The Spotlight says: Remember that there is no sure-fire solution in PR that will generate instant sales or solutions. Most public relations plans take a considerable amount of time and effort. New companies need to establish credibility and make themselves thought leaders in their industry. Once that happens, press coverage becomes easier, name recognition increases, and the company can benefit in increased sales. Much of this depends on the industry, but promises of instantaneous sales increases from unscrupulous PR firms should be looked on as a case of “too good to be true.”