It’s happened quite a few times to me over the years. A client will email me with a link to a story about one of their rivals and words to the effect of: ‘Why are they getting all this publicity when we are doing a much better job than they are?’
The simple answer: ‘Because we are not telling them. You are busy and have not briefed us about the great work you are doing. That means we don’t have the raw material. We can’t create a story and pitch it out to the channel media.’
If you are going to get coverage, senior people have to dedicate time to briefing stories. We Dedicate some time to briefing, brainstorming, reading and approving copy, and talking to journalists, and you will get some positive results.
We always do our best to make sure customers understand this and can give us the time we need to create good stories that will be of genuine interest to the media.
What you don’t want is to see stories that talk up your rivals when you know that you have a better product or service. If that happens, yes, you can respond, but you can’t just go to the publication and say ‘we are better’ – that’s just not a story. You have to get on the front foot and get there first.
Even then, you won’t always get the results you want straight away or every time. You need to be persistent and keep working at it, just as you would if you were trying to get into a new and strategic account.
Should you ever find yourself seeing a story about a competitor that should really have been about you, maybe you should be doing more to get your profile up in channel media. But be aware, you will need to put some of your own time into making it happen.