PR practitioners aren’t the only employees responsible for taking care of a brand. Think of a brand as your own child. You want the brand to grow into something magnificent, don’t you? You want your brand to be known for wonderful things, to be recognized as reliable, credible and talented. You wouldn’t want your brand to be perceived as shady, rude and pushy, would you?
Maybe you do, I don’t know your life, but if it were me, I would want people to like my brand, appreciate it and come to it for advice when needed. These are lessons PR practitioners, the front runners of a brand, need to keep in mind unless of course you’re trying to ruin a brand. Here are a few ways you should, and shouldn’t represent or misrepresent your brand.
These are the lessons PR practitioners, the front runners of a brand, need to keep in mind: Click To Tweet
Be nice to others
If you’re the PR head of your company, like it or not, you probably talk to people, a lot, every single day. This seems like a general rule of thumb, but for some it could be difficult to bite their tongue. In my daily works, I engage with editors via email and Twitter to remain in close contact with publications I want to represent my clients. When I start a relationship with editors, I want them to like me, of course, so I start by favoriting and responding to recent tweets, whether it’s relevant to what I want to pitch to them eventually or not.
Get the ball rolling and absolutely avoid topics you wouldn’t want to start with your politically stern Uncle Jerry i.e. asking what their latest views on Planned Parenthood is definitely not included on the conversation-starters list… Keep topics simple, and steer away from bashing their content views or morals. One practice I’ve noticed to work in the engagement process of the relationship is finding articles these editors have recently published, find a quote you can agree with from the article and respond to a tweet with a quote from their own article.
But don’t be too nice…
Yes, social engagement is indeed a must, but don’t overdo it. Favoriting, retweeting and responding to every tweet on an editor’s timeline is the epitome of my scary ex boyfriend and a complete turnoff. This makes you, as a brand, look desperate and sloppy.
From an editor’s point of view, this looks like you carelessly looked for any editor in your space and zipped down the feed to show any sort of appreciation to get them to like you. Don’t be a Transparent Terry. Be selective, be personable and be genuine. Tell them what you like specifically about a piece they wrote and give your 2 cents on the topic; then leave them alone for a week. Spammy is never classy.
Don’t sell on the first date
Think of your first impression or outreach to an editor as a first date. Let’s be real, you’re not going to show all your sides and emotions to a new crush on the first date, so don’t do it on your brand’s first impression to an editor. You want to present your brand to an editor so well that it’s love at first site. Something I’ve learned in my few months heading a new PR department is I’ve gained more ground by building up to the sell instead of going straight to the punch line and waterboarding with gobs of information editors really don’t care about.
Yes, editors don’t want you to waste their time in a pitch, but they also don’t necessarily care for random PR junkies selling them in their inbox. Warm them up with a few tweets completely unrelated to selling your clients. Like I mentioned earlier, compliment their previous and recent work so they understand you appreciate what they do or at the very least make a familiar face. If you sell your clients on the ‘first date’ then they’ll see your brand as nothing more than a sales-hungry monster. Build a base, then make your selling point.
Think of your first impression or outreach to an editor as a first date. #PRTips Click To Tweet
Keep the Flame Away from the Bridge
Now that you’ve built this beautiful bridge of trust between your brand and these editors you’ve been engaging with so kindly, don’t burn it. If they’re interested in hearing from you again, they might take a little gander on your profile page to make sure you and your company are legit. Make sure if you voice an opinion to one editor, that you’re not contradicting yourself in a different tweet or LinkedIn post. This will make you look like a straight liar and the editor that could have given you everything you needed just walked away uncertain about your brand credibility. Keep your messaging consistent and tamed.
Honesty, within reason, is the best policy here. Be honest, without being offensive to parties you’d want to reach out to. Messaging on Twitter, LinkedIn and email channels is kind of like being at a tea party. Be classy, never sassy. Know your audience and read the room. Keep these practices in mind every time you think about writing to an editor and you’re on your way to a pretty-lookin’ brand!