With a rainbow assortment of metrics now available to public relations professionals with which to measure the reach and impact of publicity in every medium and social channel, there is still one outlying, yet highly valuable, dimension that is rarely stressed to clients and that defies attempts at quantitative measurement.
Just what is this powerful PR black hole? How does it work? Can it be harnessed and to what effect? For the moment, let’s call it the IPP, for the immeasurable power of publicity, a kind of shadow dimension that wields an invisible force upon the media coverage you obtain for clients.
To better understand this dark force, let’s deconstruct a typical newspaper business article. Most “in-depth” news stories will generally quote three sources: someone(s) with the originating company, an industry expert who agrees with the source’s point of view, and another expert who takes the opposing perspective. Let’s say the journalist includes your client as one of the experts. Bingo; you can readily measure the impact of their statement.
But here’s the tricky part. If your client is included in the story as an expert, other “experts” with similar points of view generally will not be quoted. Your good work and solid media relations have pre-empted your client’s competitors from gaining that media exposure in an influential story. Congratulations.
Even though you cannot run the numbers, you should surely make it clear to your client that above and beyond the value of the exposure itself, you have struck an invisible blow against your client’s competitors’ claims to expertise and leadership. And, going forward, you may cement your client into the reporter’s favorite contacts list and reap rewards down the line.
Len Stein founded Visibility Public Relations to position the full spectrum of creative marketing services companies for industry thought-leadership.
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