PR Firms, publicity, advertising, goals and LIES

I started my business about 5.5 years ago.  I envied any company that got ink on a magazine, newspaper, radio, TV show, etc.

Envied might be too light of a word.  I was full-on jealous.  I wanted it.  I wanted the media to notice the amazingness that was JibberJobber. Life-changing.  Made the old invention of sliced-bread stale and moldy.  My new thing was so very awesome.

I was perplexed that media wouldn’t talk about.  Local media, national, etc.  No one would talk about JibberJobber.  Even when unemployment went up, no one would talk about it.

Well, traditional media wouldn’t talk about it.  I had many blog interviews, podcasts, blogtalkradio, etc.  But I had people say “until I read about it in the Wall Street Journal or New York Times, I don’t care.”

I just didn’t understand.

And then I started to piece the puzzle together.

Traditional media has an agenda.  They write what the *think* you want to read.  They sensationalize.  They dramatize.  It’s not about NEWS, or what’s newsworthy.  It’s about rankings, revenue, ads and your eyeballs.

Why write about a job website they can write about serious issues, like Lindsey Lohan?

After all, that’s what we want to consume, isn’t it?  That’s what sells papers and magazines.  Michael Jackson’s death.  Princess Diana’s death.  That is what we buy.

There’s another part of the equation, though.  What gets printed has a lot to do with the PR firm.  I knew PR firms would charge from a few thousand to ten+ thousand PER MONTH to get stuff in print, or on the TV.  I didn’t have that type of money.

Here’s a MUST read article for any entrepreneur to better understand PR a bit: What some PR firms aren’t telling their clients

I’d like to focus on the last point: PR rarely drives sales.

After my LinkedIn book came out I had a choice experience. US News and World Report wrote a FULL PAGE article on me (that was in their print magazine).  They had a photographer drive out to meet me at a conference I was speaking at.  I was an almost-celebrity. I felt that finally, media was recognizing what I was doing. It was flattering, fun, awesome.

I did not see an increase in book sales or JibberJobber signups.  I saw no measurable increase in anything in my business (I got one speaking gig out of it, which is great….).  For a full-page article I expected much, much more.

And I got nothing.

Except the chance to say I was in that magazine.

My point?  Be careful where you spend your money.  You can spend A LOT on PR.  And that PR might not result in anything more than bragging rights.

Someone tell me I’m wrong.

 

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