Go big or go home! If I were to record every pep talk conducted by business owners across the nation, I’d bet that you’d hear this mantra, or something similar, recited countless of times to clients and/or employees while encouraging them to reach company goals. And I’m sure that for business owners, this type of verbiage pushes clients to become more determined to accomplish these goals.
However, as a public relations consultant, the mantra “go big or go home” takes on an entirely different meaning for me. My job is to help my clients reach company goals through strategies and tactics for reasons such as establishing the company brand or increasing company exposure for more opportunities of financial gain. Whatever the reason, my client and I have to work together to formulate a plan that will work for his or her company. Factors such as company size, budget, how established the company brand is, etc. determine how we formulate and execute a plan.
While there is nothing wrong with thinking big, there has to be a strategy behind a plan or the focus will be lost. One problem I seem to keep running into are clients who want to run before they walk. These clients are too impatient to wait for a strategic plan that best suits their business’ needs. They also have the misconception that the bigger the media outlet or place of distribution, the better exposure their product or service gets. This could not be more wrong. I’ve witnessed too many people place their product or service in major media outlets and well known places of distribution, only to get discouraged because the results they received didn’t yield what they hoped it would.
I understand that most people want to be interviewed by the major media entities like Forbes, Black Enterprise, Inc., etc., because most people recognize these names. They believe that since most people know these publications, their business will receive the type of exposure they need to bring in sales. If their company were to take part in any of these magazines, there is no doubt that they would receive lifetime bragging rights and another line to add in their bio to show off.
But what if your audience doesn’t read any of the magazines listed above? What if your audience listens to an obscured online blog radio show? If you’re in the business to make money (and I hope you are), your business would benefit more from the obscured online blog radio show. Forbes allows you to cover a broader scope of people, but that obscured online blog radio show puts you directly in the middle of your exact clientele, and more importantly, it could potentially bring more dollars to your bottom line. While being featured in Forbes sounds wonderful, I would rather bring more revenue to my business at the cost of not being a part of a major publication for the time being.
To expand on this even further, let me tell you a story about a client I had in the past. This particular client created a natural hair care product and wanted it to be in Walmart. It eventually landed on Walmart’s shelves next to many other hair care products. However, it performed poorly next to well known, established natural hair care products that have been promoted commercially for years.
My client had also been interviewed at all of the major news outlets in the city as well, but her clients weren’t parked there. These interviews didn’t harm her or her business. In fact, she gained an increased amount of product recognition, but it didn’t equate to her immediate goal, which was to sell the product. Eventually, she placed the natural hair care product in Farmer’s Markets and Whole foods where it sold out and thrived. It was the perfect platform for the product because she was able to conduct live demos to explain why the product was incredibly useful.
Trust the bigger picture of your public relations representative. While media interviews are amazing additions to the full public relations campaign, it’s usually a part of the arsenal and not the ONLY weapon. Once the audience is identified, there are various ways to reach that audience. Unless you’re coming in with an established following, you have to allow your PR rep to build the trust with your brand and your audience. If that means being interviewed by the mom & pop local cable channel, then so be it; especially if your clients are there. Most times, the ultimate goal is to get into the bigger media entities, but only if it makes sense for your brand.
Many people have the misconception that you should choose a public relations representative according to their media mentions for their clients, but I beg to differ. I am a firm believer that you should hire someone who will be able to focus on your business’ mission and meet your goals through strategic planning that may or may not involve major media outlets. Choose wisely!
By: TJ Jefferson
TJ created Fresh Touch Publicity out of her sheer desire to unleash the vast amount of creative ideas her mind possessed. She decided to integrate those creative ideas, her journalism background, her helpful nature, and people skills into a simple, yet effective business structure.
TJ has worked on large-scale marketing campaigns with Nashville State Community College and the Memphis Urban League. She has sat on the Board of Directors for the Memphis Urban League Young Professionals, Agapé Christian Counseling Center, and the Memphis Entrepreneurship Academy.
TJ’s love of philanthropic work has been incorporated into her business with the introduction of the #SimplyGiving Project, which is a grassroots fundraiser for a local nonprofit organization. A Memphis native, she is a graduate of Tennessee State University. She believes faith, discipline, confidence, and a support system of success-driven people can help you achieve your goals. She lives by this motto that she penned, “Accept the word “no” like the button of an alarm clock, don’t worry, someone will eventually wake up.”