Theorists have suggested other emotions. What matters is your understanding of the emotions that the people in your audience are pre-disposed to. To help you do that you need to know the answers to three questions: It is not enough to know the answer to one or two of these questions.
The Suit is Back! April "Suits make a corporate comeback," says the New York Times. Why does this sound familiar? Maybe because the suit was also back in FebruarySeptemberJuneMarchSeptemberNovemberApriland February Why do the media keep running stories saying suits are back?
Because PR firms tell them to. One of the most surprising things I discovered during my brief business career was the existence of the PR industry, lurking like a huge, quiet submarine beneath the news.
Of the stories you read in traditional media that aren't about politics, crimes, or disasters, more than half probably come from PR firms.
I know because I spent years hunting such "press hits. And they were worth it. PR is the news equivalent of search engine optimization; instead of buying ads, which readers ignore, you get yourself inserted directly into the stories.
In 18 months, they got press hits in over 60 different publications. And we weren't the only ones they did great things for. In I got a call from another startup founder considering hiring them to promote his company. I told him they were PR gods, worth every penny of their outrageous fees.
But I remember thinking his company's name was odd. Why call an auction site "eBay"? Symbiosis PR is not dishonest.
In fact, the reason the best PR firms are so effective is precisely that they aren't dishonest. They give reporters genuinely valuable information. A good PR firm won't bug reporters just because the client tells them to; they've worked hard to build their credibility with reporters, and they don't want to destroy it by feeding them mere propaganda.
If anyone is dishonest, it's the reporters. The main reason PR firms exist is that reporters are lazy. Or, to put it more nicely, overworked. Really they ought to be out there digging up stories for themselves.
But it's so tempting to sit in their offices and let PR firms bring the stories to them. After all, they know good PR firms won't lie to them.
A good flatterer doesn't lie, but tells his victim selective truths what a nice color your eyes are. Good PR firms use the same strategy: For example, our PR firm often pitched stories about how the Web let small merchants compete with big ones.
This was perfectly true. But the reason reporters ended up writing stories about this particular truth, rather than some other one, was that small merchants were our target market, and we were paying the piper. Different publications vary greatly in their reliance on PR firms.
At the bottom of the heap are the trade press, who make most of their money from advertising and would give the magazines away for free if advertisers would let them. They're so desperate for "content" that some will print your press releases almost verbatim, if you take the trouble to write them to read like articles.
Their reporters do go out and find their own stories, at least some of the time. They'll listen to PR firms, but briefly and skeptically. We managed to get press hits in almost every publication we wanted, but we never managed to crack the print edition of the Times.I was talking recently to a friend who teaches at MIT.
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