You’ve committed to increased media exposure for your company’s thought leaders to meet new goals for brand awareness. You’ve hired a PR agency, but are they practicing the kind of excellence that will protect your reputation? Sadly, I’m here to tell you that many do not.
Every day, I receive emails from PR agencies both small and large pushing topics and experts for a client publication. The unfortunate reality is that many of these emails are so badly worded, grammatically incorrect, and poorly punctuated that I either ignore them outright, or if I use their contact, I put them on my watch list since they’ve demonstrated a lack of attention to detail, which may persist. If your company’s PR agency starts out of the gate by sending careless messaging, they likely will not be concerned about the quality of content sent to me for publication. And chances are high that my dealings with them will be time consuming at best.
Today was no exception. Not only did an agency send a pitch that contained some of the worst wording I’ve seen in a long time, but also they misspelled their client’s company name…in the subject line. Additionally, the suggested topics did not align with the readership of their targeted publication. The agency principal presented the content of the email as usable for quotation—publishable, that is—or I could call for additional quotes. That CEO would have looked like a buffoon had I taken them up on their offer. Word of caution: You are never guaranteed that a media outlet will notice the mistake or protect the reputation of your company and its leadership when these types of errors occur. Never.
How many funny [well, not funny for the client] video clips have you seen where someone thought the interview was over and said something embarrassing while still being recorded? Newsflash, the mic is never off and the camera is always rolling. And when it comes to print and digital media, never allow content to be sent that is not ready to be printed, tweeted, posted, shared, or talked about. Your PR and communications agency should be on top of these things for you at all times. That is, after all, the point of hiring them in the first place.
I’m not suggesting that any agency will be perfect, but they should be vigilant in their methods at minimum by proofing messages carefully, fact checking information provided, sending ideas that align with a publication’s audience, and responding quickly to errors.
Is your PR agency watching out for you? If not, ditch them and get the right one in place. That’s one of the main reasons we formed Liquid Line. We’re ready to take care of your communications and make sure that the flow of information sent to the media is worthy of your brand and in line with your goals.