Who are you talking to? Is anybody else there?

Summary:

If you want people to pay attention to your product, talk about what is important to them instead of what you want them to know.

Travis Bickle

In the movie, Taxi Driver, Travis Bickle (Robert DeNiro) spent a lot of time taking to himself and no one else listened..

Way before the Internet made it possible for every company to have its own mass media bulletin board, competent public relations pros often struggled to convince business leaders that a news announcement was worth nothing unless its content was good enough to interest editors. The smart executives learned that their story had value only when a legitimate third-party authority published it or used it as positive source material for a broader story. However, even back in the day executives often insisted on paying to send out messages of interest to no one but the person sending it.

Today, it’s easy for executives and their public relations people to convince themselves that they have something important to say even when they do not. They can post “News Releases” on their own and any number of networking web sites. They can send e-mail blasts to millions of people. They can report record numbers of click throughs to prove to themselves that people care about their pronouncements and they can proudly crow about the “death of old school PR.”

The problem is that when companies talk about themselves, they are generally just talking to themselves. Effective public relations — before the Web and after — is to identify what is unique and compelling about a company and manage that story to get the right kind of recognition in the marketplace. I help companies communicate their important messages so that they earn credibility, respect and high profit margins. Contact me: jribbler@media-proinc.com