Establishing PR Parameters: What’s in it for the reader?

Sometimes it’s tough to separate news from shameless self-promotion.

That’s when hiring an experienced public relations practitioner can help clients chart a course for success. Unfortunately, business owners don’t always have the budget — or the inclination — to consult a professional. Hiring the wrong “expert” can lead to the same publicity dead end where do-it-yourselfers are often stopped cold.

Whether you’re evaluating your own work, or that of a paid consultant, you can keep efforts to earn a place in the PR limelight on track by asking: What’s in it for the reader?

Misguided publicity efforts often involve masquerades like solutions begging for a problem, or a tired fix for age-old issue dressed up in a new coat of paint. But, if the honest answer to the question above describes a genuine benefit, you’re in business.

Knowing where to place your story is critical. All publications that accept paid advertising offer a “publisher’s editorial statement” that tells what the magazine or newspaper promises to tell subscribers. Make sure your PR offering is a good match and be sure your writing style and content fit the publisher’s guidelines.