How to Become Public Relations Royalty
Two years ago, I took to the stage as “Sandy” in a community production of The Emperor’s New Clothes (Brodsky)—quavering as I told the fictional ruler that he was wearing nothing! (On the stage in this family show, he was, however, covered…) Until the concluding scene, I suffered friends’ verbal slings because I refused to lie.
Little did I know that about a year after that musical performance, I’d be joining Incenter Marketing, where our philosophy is True That.
Indeed, we believe that to influence opinions and behaviors, the truth is our clients’ most important asset. When communications are based on core truths—about organizations, and what their stakeholders are thinking and feeling—they will have the greatest impact.
Nowhere is this more important than in public relations, which involves helping our clients earn a distinctive voice through the media. That’s because journalists are the ultimate truth tellers. Every day, their in-boxes spill over with information about particular companies and their products and services. Their job is to separate the hyperbole from the truth, and feature the people and companies who are genuine experts and thought leaders.
That’s why executives and consumers alike consider media coverage as the gold standard in marketing communications success. They understand that securing media attention is challenging; journalists complete a rigorous fact-finding process to develop their stories and decide whom to reference. Making it even harder—and ultimately worthy of more respect—is that these reporters and editors also care about how their content will make their audiences feel!
It’s the ultimate paradox; journalists must provide balanced information, or run opinions or guest articles/blogs, from undisputed experts, to be credible. At the same time, this information has to be presented in an interesting, compelling way—resonating with the people these media are reaching. It’s all about reflecting their audience’s personal truths.
How do we public relations professionals help journalists meet this objective, and advance our clients or colleagues in the process? Incenter Marketing’s formula revolves around 3 E’s:
- Emotional: However diverse our backgrounds and roles are, we’re one—or nearly one—on many fronts. We cherish our family and friends; value our own and our loved ones’ health and happiness; and understand the satisfaction of achieving a long-held dream. In public relations, we gain media attention by marrying executives’ expertise with these emotions.For example, Bruno Pasceri, President of Incenter LLC, penned an impactful op-ed for National Mortgage News about why borrower and customer relationships are so important to mortgage bankers in the transition from a refinancing to a purchasing market. Instead of just saying this straight out, he offered the fictional illustration of banker George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life. When the bank lost $8,000 in deposits due to George’s careless uncle, his family and loving friends showered him with cash in front of the family Christmas tree. It was the kind of heartwarming comparison that others undoubtedly related to and remembered, attracting attention to the column and cementing Bruno’s position as a true thought leader.
- Economic: If anyone’s fortunes have suffered during the pandemic, it’s restaurants’ and retailers’. Last year, restaurant and foodservice organization sales declined by $240 billion from anticipated levels (National Restaurant Association). Against this economic backdrop, trade media have appreciated offers by Martin Flusberg, President of Powerhouse Dynamics, to educate their readers on new, technology-based ways to regain financial strength. He is sharing specific, actionable content and tips that also expose readers to the company’s Open Kitchen® IoT platform—without selling.
- Expertise: If anyone understands the “inner plumbing” of the mortgage banking industry, it’s Tom Piercy, President of Incenter Mortgage Advisors, which specializes in the valuation and trading of mortgage servicing rights and whole loans. When media seek in-depth insights on the latest regulatory initiatives, rate-setting benchmarks, or issues leading mortgage servicers to sell or retain assets, they turn to him—and he delivers. Such was the case when Money covered the pending replacement of the LIBOR Index for Adjustable Rate Mortgages, leading to his being quoted in a feature.
In the mix of available marketing communications tactics, public relations reigns supreme—threaded with true, substantive and captivating stories. That’s why I loved playing Sandy; she valued the truth. My Incenter Marketing colleagues and I welcome the chance to help you discover the core truths that clothe your organization with greatness. For public relations, please contact me at [email protected] or say hello at 267-620-8401.