A common strategy that public relations agencies still tout when selling their value is the “Ad Equivalency Value” (AEV). AEV states that any news coverage is three to four times more valuable than running a similar ad in that outlet. Similarly, it's argues that a piece delivered as a news story is more credible than one derived from a paid relationship.
I often have to write articles for clients’ bylines. I try my best to write the piece so it can be placed in blogs and trade magazines or used in speeches and advertisements. In return, I don’t seek or receive attribution. Instead, the credit goes to the person who I collaborated on the piece with.
As a PR person, I’ve had numerous instances where we’ve had a good, newsworthy event in the pipeline, with media slated to attend. We’ve worked our tails off for weeks to work the right angles, and our efforts paid off with considerable interest from a variety of news organizations.
Here’s an all too familiar saga. An employee goes to the press claiming that he was regularly sexually harassed at your company with senior leadership's knowledge and, by a lack of action, consent to the practice. It’s the first time you hear about it, but not before the blogosphere goes ballistic on the news.
When I attended the U.S. Defense Information School (DINFOS) in the mid-90s, before the proliferation of social media, our instructors were quick to point out PR Rule #1 to us newly ordained military public affairs officers: “Don’t say anything you don’t want running on the front page of the New York Times!”
It’s been entertaining from a PR standpoint to watch both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, but not for the rhetoric. Instead, I’ve been fascinated about how both camps have responded when the other stumbled. They have been excellent examples of what business should and - more important - should NOT do when a competitor gets embroiled in a controversy.
During your buying research process, have you ever visited a businesses’ website and almost immediately closed your browser tab or hit the back button? Some websites just fill us with outright disgust.