Wait... You hired who for PR?!?
Jul 08, 2021 3:16 pm
Here's why the wrong PR hire can get your brand canceled by the media.
Hello Content Creators!
I’m not ashamed to say I’ve done this:
I have intentionally helped someone I liked get a job over someone I, um, liked less.
It's not just that I liked them personally, it’s that I liked working with them. And I thought they would do a better job with the right work ethic.
We've probably all done the same thing, right?
Have a drink, I'll tell you a story...
Before Bikerumor and Content Marketing, I had a beverage company.
We sold energy drinks.
We also had no idea how the industry worked, and had to be cautious with our hiring because we had no money...which was a blessing in disguise.
One guy in particular kept applying for a job. Then he'd get hired by some other startup energy drink company (there were thousands, and none of us understood the beverage industry, so we all made a lot of mistakes).
Then that company would fail, and he'd be back applying for a job with me.
Another startup hired him, then failed, then he'd come back.
I literally watched this same person go from brand to brand to brand and never once help them establish any sales or distribution.
Yet, that's exactly what he promised. That he could get us into the major convenience store chains, grocers, and distributors. And he only needed a salary of $85,000 to do it.
I offered him commission-only pay because, clearly, with his credentials, he'd be making way more than $85k in no time. He wasn't interested.
Guess what? None of those startups checked his history. It would have been easy to do by simply searching his name...there was a bev industry press release everytime he started a new job.
Here’s where it gets interesting (and relevant)
As a media outlet (publisher, blogger, YouTuber, content creator, influencer, etc.), we deal with a LOT of PR people and agencies.
Some are better than others. In fact, some are really great.
Some are borderline worthless.
And trust me, there’s consensus among us about who’s good and who isn’t.
The ones we like working with “probably” get better stories and more coverage for their brand(s). This shouldn’t come as a surprise.
You know what IS surprising?
That more brands don’t reach out to us media folks to vet potential hires or agencies.
It's pretty hard to call a sales rep’s former customers and ask if they liked working with them and if they’d be likely to buy from that person again.
But it's really easy to call up the media, and we are the customer in this scenario.
I promise, we'll take your call.
Because we would much rather work with someone we like and who’s good at their job. So, it’s actually in our (mutual) best interests for you to hire someone we like.
But maybe we're getting ahead of ourselves.
If you're hiring a PR person or firm, chances are it's because you don't already have a relationship with the media. Maybe that's simply because you haven't tried.
Or maybe we have a strained relationship for some reason. It happens.
Either way, it means you're not likely to call us to vet a potential hire. And that’s not good.
A good hire can start to build or improve our relationship and get you the coverage you want. So, if haven't been cultivating a positive relationship with the media, it’s worth some effort.
(Not sure where to start? Let's talk.)
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A Recent Content Project
As you probably know, a lot of stuff is out of stock these days, particularly in the cycling and outdoor industries.
So, when ENVE sent out an email saying their wheels were sold out until early 2022, it wasn't a surprise. But could it become a story?
Yes, and you can read the story to see what I did. Here's the angle I took and and why:
- Used a catchy headline to pull readers in...ENVE makes their rims in-house in the US, so why are they out of stock?
- Explained the reasons, which are not what I was expecting, and how it relates to the industry at large.
- Encouraged readers to get their orders in now to get on the list...because we have an affiliate relationship with ENVE, so it helps us financially if people click and buy.
Ultimately, there has to be a reason for any media to publish anything, but it generally boils down to some combination of A) informing, entertaining, and/or educating by providing the type of news our readers expect and enjoy (pageviews = ad impressions), and/or B) we're making an affiliate play (clicks = commissions).
That may sound bad, perhaps unaltruistic, but the media who abuse it don't last. The ones who've figured out how to do it ethically and productively are crushing it.
What's the takeaway?
Your brand should consider not just sending out general, non-product news, but also thinking ahead about how a particular media outlet might want to turn that into a story, and try to tailor some suggestions for each outlet.
(PS - Would you like help figuring out how to keep your brand in the news between launches? Let's talk.)
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Cool Stuff I've Found
This one just arrived and I've already used it to fix stuff. The Gerber CenterDrive multitool has the requisite blade, saw, pliers, and bottle opener.
What makes it unique is the long, thin bit holder that turns it into any flat head or Phillips screwdriver, hex wrench, torx wrench, etc. Just get the one with the Bit Set for a starter kit, then add any standard 1/4" bit to the case to customize it for your needs.
Honestly, I like the opening mechanism of some other tools better, but this simple bit-driver addition just makes this one so much more functional for so many common repairs.
Bring it in,
PS - If you've been enjoying these newsletters and wanna take things to the next level, email me to see how I can help your brand. Or just buy me a coffee.
*Any items, services, or products mentioned in these emails are provided solely because I think you'll like them. Some links might be affiliate links, which earn me a small commission and helps support all the free content. Thanks!