A friend of mine is a movie aficionado, so much so that he started a movie review website. He’s one of those film buffs that can’t just tell you if a movie is “good” or “bad.” If you ask him, you better be prepared to sit down for a while and have a working idea of film theory.
After many hours of discussion with him, I realized something about him even he hadn’t realized. You see, my friend can usually find something good about every movie he sees. He loves Oscar winners and cheesy, low-budget garbage just the same with no hint of irony.
What does he hate? Being bored.
Your customers want the same deal. When they read about your company, the last thing they want to do is yawn. If they can’t be wowed by your presentation or become totally enamored by your PR efforts, at the very least they can be amazed by your bravery.
Playing it Safe
A large part of public relations involves playing it safe. You don’t want to run the risk of offending a portion of the population with a campaign, especially if you’re considering expanding at some point. However, not taking any risks at all can severely bore your audience into not caring about your company at all.
Let’s say your job is to make paper products somehow exciting. This is automatically a tough gig as making sheets of paper seem exciting is going to be tough. You have to convince the paying public that your paper products are better than everyone else’s. The very definition of playing it safe would be to say “Look, it’s paper. What else is there to say?”
Instead, go for a radical approach. Go for a “Don Draper” tactic that convinces everyone if they buy a competitor’s brand of paper their school project or work presentation will fail. Because of the high quality paper stock made from 100% recycled fiber your paper can withstand harsh conditions other paper products would shake their heads at.
What’s really at play here is your customers will admire how unexpected the campaign is. When they think of a paper company they don’t usually think of bold direction – they just imagine another “what’s there to say?” message.
This is a core value of PR – going beyond the expected into the above and beyond range. With the above example, you’re not offending anyone (well, maybe your competitors) but offering something above and beyond what most companies would give. This translates into a whole section of the paying public paying attention to you when they would otherwise ignore you.
If the plan succeeds, you can expand this line of work into an entire global campaign, perhaps even with a “snarky printer paper” Twitter feed to accompany it. If it doesn’t, you can go back to the drawing board. But either way, at least you weren’t boring!
In what ways have you made your campaigns exciting?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here: http://www.ereleases.com/7cheaptactics.html