PR agencies are primarily in the business of earning media space for their clients (although I know a couple of PR agencies that increasingly rely on “buying” space through related ad deals and sponsorships). Earned media means that you have to tell a compelling story first to the media and then to its audience.
In today’s information-overloaded, multiple-channeled and highly-segmented environment that communication has to be specific and compelling to engage its audience. Unfortunately PR agencies tend to rely on one-size-fits all press releases that often fail the most basic standards of writing and engaging communication.
The always brilliant Tom Fishburne is spot-on with his cartoon above. In the notes for the cartoon, Tom writes “There’s never been a better time for great PR agencies. They can create real relationships with those who create the most valuable content to the most relevant audience. They can craft material worth sharing. But they have to earn it.”