As a reporter for 20-plus years, there were times when I just knew that I had my hands on a hot story.
What's more, I had tremendous influence--virtually total control, in fact--over whether the story saw the light of day. All I had to do was coordinate my efforts with an editor, perhaps weaving a photographer and a graphics artist in the mix.
As a publicist, it's a different story. I no longer have my hands "on" a hot scoop. Instead, I shepherd the story as best I can (largely through writing the news release in journalistic style) and then hand it off to various members of the media.
Sometimes, what comes next is a humbling, head-scratching experience. For whatever reason, reporters, editors and producers do not warm up to the idea quite as much as I thought they would, or think they should.
Fortunately, though, there are times when the media is in full agreement with my assessment, such as those outlined in the Inside Edge PR Success Stories section of my website.
While media placement is never guaranteed, I remind clients to think about ways in which they can recycle and re-use the content we develop for media outreach campaigns.
In that respect, the purpose of PR is to be not only purposeful, but re-purposeful---how can you maximize the value of your communications, even if the media never devote even an iota of coverage?
Therefore, any decent news release ought to contain elements that can be used in brochures, on websites and in other marketing materials that speak directly to the client's target audience.
For many organizations, particularly small businesses, viewing the media as the primary communication outlet is simply putting too many eggs into an unreliable basket.