Saturday, January 07, 2012

FAQ that Companies Have for Their PR Agencies (Part II)

This post is the continuation from the previous one that you can find on my precious post.

7. Companies must have a dedicated (and charismatic) spokesperson

For startups, putting the CTO or VP R&D without any media experience in front of journalists and the media is disastrous. In many cases, the interview will result in a monologue about all the cool features of the amazing technology/product/service, peppered with tech lingo.

The journalist needs to write something cool that everybody can easily understand. Listen to the PR agency and your marcom; they will tell you who would be good for the interview and prep them accordingly. Technical information, including diagrams, should be sent upon request by email.

Please note that there is no such thing as “off the record”. Any information you share about upcoming investments, major deals or product developments will be covered by the journalist. Also make sure that all information submitted is accurate. A good journalist will do his or her homework and will know if you fibbed.

8. What you said is not always what you get

Journalists and the media can use received information as they see fit. A journalist might write about your technology under a funky heading that make you cringe. Journalists might even misquote or relate incorrect information. There is not much you can do about it, except asking your PR agency or professional to contact that journalist, thank him or her for the great article and gently correct the mistakes. Don’t expect a correction though.....The only way you can do damage control is on your own corporate blog, Facebook, or Twitter account.

9. Social media for PR entails more than harnessing the power of Facebook and Twitter.

Many countries outside of the US have there own social networks (and search engines). China uses Baidu, Russia Yandex, and the Germans prefer Xing over LinkedIn.

PR agency (or in-house professional) should also target the most influential bloggers in your industry, such as Technorati or the Huffington Post. Using op-eds is also useful, such as offered by the NYT are effective.

10. Professionals have been trying to come up with a “calculator” - without success
The best way for companies to get a grip on results is to ask for reports on progress and exposure. It is important to realize that exposure might take time. To give an example, the CEO of Curapipe was interviewed at WATEC on 19 November 2011. An excellent article appeared in the Mexican media on December 27; more than a month later. Due to the power of going viral, articles can be reposted and blogged about for a long time!

(Image courtesy of Jeff Bullas)

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