PR has been much maligned and (when it works) praised. In the Middle East, it is a tool that is still misunderstood, barely used.
As someone who has selected a niche market to work in, I find that I am still trying to explain and outline how PR works. I still find myself explaining that it takes more than a press release to create good PR. Working with the small teams that are out here has helped me to hone my skills and I find that the technology editors here are very cooperative and helpful. That would probably be because I do not (at least I do not think I do) impose a bad story. I nip that in the bud.
My old boss once said to me that I should always ask my clients “so what” when they enthuse about the latest technology (I am sometimes guilty of that) and it works. It always surprises me to see the bubbles that people live in. Granted, if you do not believe in what you are promoting, you cannot convince someone else to buy into it. But there needs to be a reality check. I’m it.
So here are some of the statements I make to my over-enthusiastic clients (especially the ones that think a press conference is the answer to everything).
It may be a breakthrough technology for your company, but is it really breakthrough in the industry?
He may be the CEO of your operation, but what is he going to say that is newsworthy?
You are setting up an office in the region, but does posting one man count as a commitment?
You want a PR agency but have you decided what your goals are?
Or do you think that they (the PR agency) will just wave a magic wand?