Did you happen to watch the premiere of AMC’s “Mad Men” this week? If you did, you might have noticed that the premiere episode was titled “Public Relations.” And with that, executive producer Matt Weiner wrote an excellent episode that showed off the true power of Public Relations in the work environment. His writing prompted me to write this post to remind all business owners that when writing business plans – do not forget to add in public relations as a viable means to market yourself. Also, this post should remind established businesses to look at when their last interview was conducted. If it has been over two months…it’s time to dust off that area and start the hunt again.
PR is still a necessary ingredient for every established company and extremely helpful for start-ups. I know I harp a ton about social media…but, basically, I morph social media into PR nowadays. A business plan needs to include PR&SM. Both are equally important.
As “Mad Men” depicted, the new agency Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce took advantage of public relations to help get the word out about its company free through the media. They chose wisely…they went after Ad Age, the perfect vehicle to promote the new shop. A Perfect PR hit – it was a bulls-eye.
However, Don Draper blew the opportunity and did not realize that by his reluctance to answering questions, that the reporter filled in the blanks with information that was inaccurate and void of anything of interest to gain leads. It was a missed opportunity and the perfect example for everyone interviewed for the need to be on their game.
A friend who is experienced in marketing was helping a client who was presented with a great PR opportunity. The client was being interviewed for a cover story in a local business magazine and so, my friend asked me advice. The advice I gave him is what I give to all. What message do you want to convey? Basically, when you are being interviewed, you can drive the interview and give the reporter the information that you want said about your company. If you don’t have a plan, then the reporter has full rein. It’s a missed opportunity. You can drive the interviews and you should see them as golden opportunities for free advertising. Think about the entire message and what would you want the headline to say. And when interviewed, present that information in your comments.
We all make mistakes at first and don’t worry if you do for there are second chances. Don Draper seized upon his failure and hit another bulls-eye. He was able to secure another interview with the Wall St. Journal, and with that second chance, he drove the article and used the medium to convey his shop’s attitude and culture. He hit a home run after not even getting on base at his first chance at bat.
PR is powerful and never should be overlooked. Thank you for reminding us of that fact “Mad Men.”
What did you think of the episode? And PR a part of your business model?