I can do my own PR

By John Masterson.

With my background in Psychology I have heard people say “Sure I am a bit of a psychologist myself” more times than I have had hot dinners. As anyone who knows anything about Psychology will confirm it is wise to make oneself scarce when you hear the above sentence.

I am an admirer of artist Deborah Donnelly and once parted with a chunk of cash for a huge picture which I have loved for several years now. I noticed Deborah on Facebook recently noting that someone had written that they could paint as well themselves as she does. It goes without saying that they probably couldn’t paint a barn door, but they enjoyed their snide remark and Deborah got a laugh also. They said that about Picasso also, and no Deborah, I love your work but would prefer one of his !

Recently I came across an SME who took the decision to do their own PR rather than spend some money which they could well afford. They had a good story to tell and good photo opportunities to go with it. It was a PR dream.

So how did they do?  As far as I can see they had no national press or radio coverage. TV would have been a stretch but not impossible. They had small local coverage but national was what they needed. And they had the usual bits and pieces on Facebook and Twitter which had about zero impact on the bottom line.

Any PR consultant would have got them a picture and editorial nationally and stood a very good chance of an item on Pat Kenny, Sean O’Rourke and/or drive time radio. They would have been worth pitching to RTE Countrywide and Nationwide TV. The Farmer’s Journal would have liked the story, and some magazines would have followed up the features elements of their story in coming months. They would have most certainly got a very good return on investment.

Unfortunately while they were confident they could do their own PR they did not know how to structure a story, pitch it, what slots to aim for, what journalists would be interested, who to use as photographer, what photos to set up, how to write an attention getting quote, and how to prepare a good spokesperson.

They wasted a great opportunity to gain new customers across the country. And they still probably don’t realise it and will make the same mistake next time around.