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  • Writer's pictureCascade Communications

PR Tip: Formula PR is Dead. Custom, Niche is Thriving.


When I started in PR many, many years ago there was barely an Internet, in fact we didn't even have computers in our office for every employee. We created and implemented multi-million dollar campaigns based on an almost 40-year old PR formula. Sure, it's morphed some, but most corporate PR agencies continue using it as a foundation, and sadly, many who come out of those firms to start their own continue to perpetuate the formulaic approach to PR.

With that said, there are many who have more than embraced new media, they actually (gasp) customize a campaign for each of their clients.

As an example, I recently met with a potential new client who said that they had talked to a large number of PR people/firms and none of them developed the interesting, custom approach that we did. While it's good for us, I am worrisome about those in my profession and the future of it.

PR strategy
Formula PR is Dead. Customize Niche is Thriving.

Those of us who "get it" understand that this formula PR approach doesn't apply to all businesses and that there are more channels than ever before that we can use. Sure, there is a the standard media kit and approach to pitching media, but today PR is going far beyond just that.


Small businesses and startups, much like my clients, are looking for more than just a PR expert, they're looking for a marketing consulting partner. Someone who can look at the whole picture and give them direction and work within their budgets.


In today's digital world, there are so many more niche media outlets and alternative media - like podcasts - that can get you more directly in front of potential customers, partners, investors and more. This allows for more customization and more quality results and engagement. Moreover, there are more avenues for partnerships and creative thinking to reach your audience.


We know that not everyone will see or hear your story in the same place, like before. We now must offer more services to adjust to the way audiences are searching and discovering clients. This goes beyond traditional media with these PR tips.

Thanks to the opportunities available on the web, we now have the ability to create unique campaigns and opportunities for clients that was only available to large corporations with millions to spend on their PR campaigns. This allows us to offer a more integrated campaign that can show better results.


As trade and niche media outlets and professional social channels grow, they are looking for content to share with readers and that content - or articles - come from industry experts - business owners and employees - who can offer indirect credibility for their company. And thanks to the growth of and interest in podcasts, companies have the ability to use them as a preparation ground for future interviews while still having content to share across relevant social channels.


Ultimately, a top PR agency's goal is to drive traffic to your website and awareness can be generated on different channels through a variety of content, including PR. This ensures a wider distribution of your messages and the stories you want to share for improved online visibility through search.


If you feel your PR firm is simply giving you the same 'ol, same 'ol with promises of what they can accomplish for you, it's time to move on. Find someone who is truly innovative and integrated to help you best navigate the new world marketing. They need to be more than a PR expert, they need to share your vision for your business; be a team player; your marketing consul; a partner in your success.

Every business is different and requires a personalized look at marketing and creation of a campaign that supports your other efforts. This is exactly how the corporate PR and ad agencies did it in the 1980s and 1990s. They understood the value of integrated campaigns in an expanding media world. Unfortunately, they didn't realize how much it would expand, so while they're catching up you can easily find a smaller, incredibly innovative, boutique PR firm to help lead the charge with a custom strategy.

One word of advice: Don't get sold on the shiny, flashy campaign. Make sure you find the one that makes the absolute most sense for your business and budget. Something that will truly set you apart from the rest.


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