Thursday, February 21, 2008


I had the opportunity to do some PR for PR this month, in Indiana Business Magazine. Here's a recap of the section that included my comments:

Asher Agency in Fort Wayne has been in business since 1974 as a full-service marketing and advertising firm with PR as an important component, says Anthony Juliano, account supervisor and PR manager. "There are two reasons you'd hire a PR firm," he says. "First, for experience and manpower you don't have in-house, and second, objectivity." Monitoring TV news coverage and print is important, he says, but the explosion of information on the Internet makes it difficult for companies to track what is being said about them in blogs, message boards and podcasts. The same technology that makes it easy to get a message out also makes it harder to manage. A PR firm can help, he says, by knowing where time is best spent looking for information, which blogs to read, and which message boards get the most traffic. Then prioritize. If a factual error is found, send the correct information, he advises. But be careful not to respond hastily to someone's opinion; you could just escalate the situation out of control.

To Juliano's second point of "objectivity," he says PR firms help by looking at a situation in the same way as your company's audience. "Make your language easy to understand. Don't forget what your audience doesn't know. Also, know what's newsworthy. Know what content a reporter can use and know about timing."

Juliano works with clients on both a proactive basis and in crisis, and says the former can have a mitigating effect on the latter. "Consistently share your story," he advises. "You don't want the negative to be the first time people hear about you."

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