DIY Public Relations – a disaster in the making
Would you give the company accounts to someone who couldn’t add up? No? So why would you try and do your own strategic communications?
Consider this. You’re a decent sized SME with a healthy turnover and strong growth. You’re trying to penetrate new areas of your market, increase your brand equity and develop a stronger relationship with your customers and other stakeholders. You’re also trying to reach more people with your story and your product. You need a strategic approach, strong media contacts and an understanding of what gets a run and why. So… you decide to do it yourself.
Sound ridiculous? That’s because it is. But this is still a path many business owners take in the mistaken belief that building a profile, gaining the right kind of media coverage (notice I said, RIGHT kind) and building a brand is as simple as pressing “send” on an email or fax. The scenario I’ve put to you is just as ludicrous as suggesting that business owners take a DIY approach to legal, HR or financial strategy. Truth is folks, strategic communication, corporate affairs, whatever badge you want to give it, is as much a speciality as any other. The other truth is, whether it’s a washing machine or advice you’re buying, you will always get what you pay for.
How do I know this? Apart from starting and running a successful national consultancy of my own, I was a working journalist for nearly 15 years before this. I have seen the good, the bad and the downright insane from both sides of the trench. So let me give you a few examples of the kind of thing I’m talking about, perhaps they’ll sound familiar.