Dick Pirozzolo on “Next Level PR”
|November 1, 2013||Posted by Anharris under Communications, Guest Posts, PR, Topics|
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Richard Branson, Jack Welch and Mark Zuckerberg are among the savvy CEOs who get better and more powerful press coverage.
It’s because they use Next Level PR principles that rely on these factors to generate news: controversy, humor story, consistency and simplicity – the same principles you can use to promote and grow your company.
For details log onto my latest artricle on Next Level PR strategies in First America Startup or read excerpts below.
If Your Company Wants to Make Big News Use ‘Next Level PR’
What! Now is the time to jump in with two feet and take full advantage of the controversy over the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare to generate news for those who want to become leaders.
More than anything, journalists love controversy. We recently got a cover story in The PCB Magazine on how manufacturers of printed circuit boards for medical devices and an automated medication monitoring system will benefit from the Affordable Care Act with supporting comments by the nation’s leading medical ethicist Dr. Zeke Emanuel.
There are times when funny will get you a lot more positive exposure than deadpan. Think New Jersey Governor Chris Christie eating a donut in front of David Letterman or Michelle Obama getting her groove with Jimmy Fallon.
Washington Post humorist and syndicated columnist Gene Weingarten once interviewed our client Hilla Ovil-Brenner, founder of WhiteSmoke, a turbo-charged spellchecker.
Weingarten quipped that Ovil-Brenner probably didn’t like it when people learned to spell because it would hurt her business.
She quipped back, “If I sold plus-size fashions, that would not mean I want women to be fat, it means I want them to feel good, look good and be successful in their lives. Just like WhiteSmoke helps people….”
The interview was hilarious and got picked up by newspapers nationwide. Product sales soared.
Too often organizations forget that their CEO is a real-life character whose heart, skills, challenges, obstacles and conflicts make for far more interesting reading than canned quotes about how, “Delighted we are to announce Jean as the new VP engineering at Techno Pants Corp.”
Stop sanitizing CEOs. Let them be human, let them talk about how they resolve conflicts with the board of directors, investors or the government and their personal and business relationships. Make them come alive. We love knowing about Ben and Jerry, Jobs and Wosniak, Bill and Melinda and Richard Branson because we see them as real people.
Quick, who knows the CEO of Dell or American Airlines?
While representing institutional investment managers, a journalist once mused, “How come 75% of all money managers are in the top quartile when it comes to their performance news releases?” That’s because the poor performers hide in the weeds when their numbers are down and emerge only when their numbers are up.
Want to win the respect of journalists, build credibility and generate positive press over the long haul? Be accessible when the news is bad. Get it out, get it over with and move on. When it’s time to deliver good news, you will be far more credible and will have a bond of trust with the editors and reporters that results in positive press.
Keep it simple. How many times do we use jargon like OEM, Forex or Q4 without thinking that the journalist who makes the first cut on our news release might be new to manufacturing or finance to say nothing of the reader. Journalism critics note that The Wall Street Journal, whose readers are supposed to be mostly business types, explains every term that is likely to be unfamiliar to the layperson.
Kim Wallace of the market research firm Wallace & Washburn in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and author of “Why People Don’t Buy Things,” puts it this way. “Liken new concepts to what we already know. Let’s say you want to reach customers who had never seen snow tires before and wanted to explain their benefit. If you say, ‘They are like snowshoes for your car,’ everyone will get it instantly.
Consider these news-making tactics when it comes to creating the kind of awareness that establishes your company as an influential leader and building greater awareness and brand equity.
That’s Next Level PR!
Dick Pirozzolo is Managing Director of Pirozzolo Company Public Relations in Boston, founded in 1980, and a Media Bistro Teacher. His firm figured prominently in promoting startup companies that have become publicly held or been acquired by major public corporations. He lives in Wellesley, Massachusetts and Nantucket.
The Harris Communications Group is an award-winning PR and market development firm specializing in PR, marketing, content and thought leadership for clients in healthcare, science, biotech, technoilogy and energy. Located in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA, we’re on the pulse of some of the most exciting ideas, products and technologies, anywhere.