Channel PR
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Six Channel PR Misperceptions You MUST Avoid

Public relations can be one of a channel vendor’s most effective go-to-market weapons if applied correctly, but getting channel PR right isn’t always easy.

Commonly associated with its most basic tool—the press release—PR is a strategic asset for creating trust, building brands, supporting sales, and avoiding conflicts. In good times, it helps with everything from media, investor, and analyst relations to employee communications, product promotion, social media, crisis communications, community relations, and social responsibility. During difficult times, it’s a calm voice of reason.

So yeah—it’s a lot more than a press release.

To find out how channel PR fits into your go-to-market plans, contact Channel Mastered for an assessment and recommendation. In the meantime, here are some of the most common PR misperceptions to avoid.

1. PR is Transactional

PR is often perceived solely as an extension of sales, measured by clicks and qualified leads. Other times, it’s gauged by its deliverables, such as a specific number of press releases, blogs, and contributed articles.

Actually, though, PR is relational. It serves as a trusted voice or advisor that helps guide the company through critical decisions and creates a consistent, sustainable message that resonates with stakeholders inside and outside the organization.

True channel PR professionals pursue the long game through integrated campaigns that generate awareness, thought leadership, and leads through events, briefings, blogs, contributed articles, and yes, press releases.

2. It’s All About the Spin

This is one of the most dangerous assumptions about PR. Yes, a PR professional can help smooth over difficult situations and bad decisions. But the best ones prevent those problems from happening in the first place.

Plus, too much spin can put your PR person and your company at risk of jeopardizing trust and credibility, which filters down into your brand.

When looking at your next announcement, consider these three “Cs”: change, conflict, and controversy.

  • Does your announcement represent a dramatic change in the way your customers or the market does something?
  • Does it conflict with norms, attitudes, or processes?
  • Does it introduce or participate in some form of controversy?

A good channel PR professional should be able to answer those questions for you honestly. That’s way more than spin.

3. It’s All About the Coverage

Some companies believe coverage can be achieved for any announcement if their PR person pitches the story hard enough. They’re wrong. Remember that publications are looking for clicks and traffic just like you, and your new product, customer win, or award won’t always make that happen.

Besides, coverage isn’t PR’s only desired outcome. The overall goal is the consistent delivery of an approved message over a variety of platforms—YouTube videos, virtual roundtables, tradeshow presentations, contributed articles, social media, etc. You might achieve more impressions via a YouTube video promoted over social media than a story in a tier-two or tier-three publication.

4. Media Briefings Equal Coverage

One of the most common complaints PR professionals hear is, “I gave the reporter a briefing, so where’s my coverage!?” Reporters hate this complaint just as much as PR. Just because you provide a quote or statement doesn’t mean the reporter must include it in the story. Remember, there’s no shortage of people wanting to give a statement. The best statement or story wins.

5. Stories Can be Reviewed and Approved Before Publication

Shockingly, some people still believe this. “On the record” means on the record. And just because you’re unhappy with your quote doesn’t mean you can bully a reporter into changing it. In fact, if you try, you might never talk to that reporter again. That’s why media training is so essential—and another service offered by your friendly channel PR professional.

6. PR is Not a Value Meal

If anyone tries to sell you some number of press releases, bylines, or coverage, take a moment and look at the bigger picture. How will that PR person or agency serve as a long-term strategic advisor?

Remember, PR is not a value meal you order at the drive-thru window. Take your time and contact us if you’d like help making that decision. We promise not to “supersize” you.

At Channel Mastered, we specialize in overcoming our clients’ unique MSP channel growth challenges and deliver can’t-miss editorial and public relations services to our channel vendor clients. Contact us today to learn how we can help you meet or exceed your partner recruitment goals.

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