Discover more from Comms All Ye Faithful w/ John Forberger
4 Hard Questions PR Pros Should Ask Clients
You'll gain more respect and earn admiration from day 1
In the last 7 days, this meme I made and posted on LinkedIn went viral. It’s at ~38,000 impressions.
The reason is I know the target audience (PR pros). I know:
Their day-to-day behavior
What pains and excites them
The words and phrases they use
This and more is the vital strategic work often ignored by most PR agencies.
Think Strategically, Act Tactically
The infatuation that PR professionals have with tactics must take a backseat to strategy. If you’re like me and don’t want PR pros to be seen as ‘yes’ people or executioners, start with strategy.
I firmly believe B2B PR agencies and freelancers must do the upfront strategic work (i.e. messaging, positioning, personas, GTM Plans) that's historically been skipped over. The required work accelerates the development of content themes, topics for thought leadership, campaigns, social content, webinars, and much more.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “my bosses/clients want results immediately,” you’re working with people who a) need to be educated on the short- and long-term value you’ll offer after a strategy is put in place or b) are unrealistic.
The 4 Questions
When a new engagement begins, PR agencies or freelancers must ask hard questions. They’re some version of:
"What's the story* you're telling the market?"
"Who is your target market?"
"Why should anyone care today?"
"What do customers say you do?"
*𝑨 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒚 𝒊𝒔 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒂 𝒇𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒓 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒚 𝒏𝒐𝒓 𝒊𝒔 𝒊𝒕 𝒂𝒃𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒅𝒖𝒄𝒕/𝒔𝒆𝒓𝒗𝒊𝒄𝒆.
Sorry but if there aren’t crystal clear answers to those q’s, hold off on PR.
Here are 3 painful truths:
If a company doesn't have clear messaging, 𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘰𝘧𝘧 𝘰𝘯 𝘗𝘙 (𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘬𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨).
If a company doesn't know what events customers attend, 𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘰𝘧𝘧 𝘰𝘯 𝘗𝘙 (𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘬𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨).
If Marketing has fuzzy buyer personas, 𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘰𝘧𝘧 𝘰𝘯 𝘗𝘙 (𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘬𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨).
Media relations fails are often a strategy issue, not an execution issue.
Thanks for reading B2B PR Now w/ John Forberger! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.