6 Minute Read

The Difference Between Good PR and Desperate PR

I’m certain we’ve all heard the saying, “Any PR is Good PR.” While this could hold true for some PR practitioners and brands, I’m going with a hard negative on this one, soldier. Not all PR is good PR, in fact, if not performed properly, your PR could be looking quite sloppy and desperate. Dealing with people is a tricky trait, but with a little TLC, we can get through this one together. Here’s the difference between The Good and The Desperate.


The Desperate

Let’s start with what not to do so we can all sleep on a good note tonight. Desperate, sloppy PR is easy to fall into if you’re just that…well, desperate. If there’s one thing you need to be when it comes to reaching out to the public about your brand, it’s aware of your messaging frame. Do you really think sending out an offhand release or reaching out to every outlet under the sun is going to get you very far? It’s not. Even if you’re not desperate and you’re just looking to spread the word, shooting in the dark is no way to create brand awareness.  


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The Strategy

One way to ace this: build a strategy. Strategy is one of those sexy business words you just want to understand and get to know because it sounds professional and deep, but it’s actually quite simple. Your first step is to put on your consumer hat and always look up to brands, not even necessarily big names, just brands that consistently kill it in every direction. Take your “inspire” brand and place that at the top of every outline with everything you do. This is your base to building a brand image that you, as a consumer, want for your company to create “The Good” PR.


Read more about building a killer email strategy


The Good

Good PR only requires a few tools from your belt. Effective communication, tended to research, solid (and I mean rock hard) educated guesses and ultimately, patience. Using these tools, good PR is knowing your own brand forward and back, understanding basic news elements before talking to anyone, staying on top of trends in your industry and in the business/tech worlds and lastly staying on top of your messaging, projects and outreach.


Hold it, non-verbal communication matters too. Read about it.


What This Means For You

This means you’re sending out releases that real news outlets in your industry will be interested in covering. This means you’re pitching articles to outlets who are in your industry and talk specifically about what you’re pitching on a regular basis. This means digging through websites for contribution guidelines and rules before sending out a single email. This means personalizing your reach like a human instead of zipping 100 people the same email for one article over and over and sounding like a careless cyborg. This means staying on top of your events and considering how much time outlets need to gather your materials and information in order to run your piece in a timely manner.


The Backend

In theatre performances, backstage is always the messiest, ugliest, darkest place to be – just like a pitch, but in a good way. In this case, if your backstage isn’t messy, you’re not PR-ing right. Get your hands dirty when crafting the pitch by finding your “pitch-ee,” understanding who you are pitching, how they like being contacted and what they prefer. There’s no right way to pitch a press release or article to every editor and reporter. The best you can do is very intelligently wing it. That’s right, just like Dr. William J. Ward would want you to.



Making the mess is the hub of your good PR efforts. A collection of wins is not what makes good PR, even if it looks and feels really good to you and your brand image. Good PR is the absolute effort you put behind your messaging. Even if you don’t make a win, you don’t get the responses you wished and planned for, you didn’t quite get the coverage you wanted for an event, the backstage mess you made and the deep rubble of every website you dug through is that good PR you’re looking for. Maybe you didn’t win this time, but you have the same quality message you worked so hard on in the inboxes of each person you reached, which is the first step to the brand awareness you need. All of that said, PR is super confusing to measure. But that’s a story for another day.


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