Don’t Muddy the PR Waters: Focus on Quality Over Quantity

George Hood, Group Exercise Director at Five Seasons Family Sports Club in Burr Ridge, prepares for a 2-hour training plank on Guinness World Records Day last month. While newsworthy, it’s important to remember it carries no interest to some in the media.

Quality versus quantity—it’s a tension that permeates so much of life.

Do you want to have a small number of really good friends or a much larger number of more casual, surface-level acquaintances? Do you want one really high-quality cookie or a stack of Oreos?

Of course, it’s a false dichotomy—there’s no law prohibiting us from having both a quality and a quantity in any given arena.

Just the same, when it comes to public relations, it’s wise to be selective when pitching a given story. Spread your net too wide, without thoughtfully considering if the media representative is likely to be interested in the idea, and you run the risk of getting tuned out over time.

I might have a great story in Five Seasons Family Sports Club in Burr Ridge having George Hood, a Guinness World Record Holder in ultra-endurance events, as its new Group Exercise Director. Just last month, during an unofficial training effort at the club, he achieved a remarkable 2-hour abdominal plank on Guinness World Records Day.

But that’s not something I would pitch to a political editor (unless George was throwing his hat in the ring for U.S. Senate or something along those lines).

Likewise, the sports editor for an Aurora publication isn’t going to be champing at the bit for a story about Forest Park-based McAdam Landscaping’s time-tested approach to responding to blizzards with its snowplow routes.

As I note in “PR Success Tip: 4 Myths To Combat Along The Way,” throwing mud at the wall is a great idea—but only if your goal is to get a real muddy wall.

Far more effective than PR-spamming is making personalized contacts that are targeted to appropriate, potentially interested individuals.

You shouldn’t sacrifice long-term media relationships for the short-term urgencies of an immediate PR campaign. Those short- and long-range considerations should go hand in hand.

The idea is to launch media outreach campaigns that are teeming with quality and, whenever possible, quantity.

Yes, there are times you can indulge in that stack of Oreos. But more often than not, the best approach is to stick with the high-quality cookie.

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