Media exposure can be one of the most powerful things your business acquires in terms of impact on sales and brand recognition. Nevertheless, just as it has the power to make companies, it also has the power to break companies. Though we all want our story to be told, our product to be shared, or our expertise to be highly sought after, in order to ensure long term relationships with the media who can help you reach that oft discussed "tipping point", it is essential to be 100% honest with the media at all times.
Examples of when to be honest include:
- The depth of your expertise, your training, who you have worked with, and how you have impacted them.
- Past media experience.
- Availability and pricing of your product.
- Testimonials, reviews, and use of celebrity endorsements.
- Facts, figures, the reach and span of your business, and financials.
It can be tempting when faced with a possible media opportunity to exaggerate any of the above, but it will only bring you more harm than good. Lying to editors or producers not only affects your relationship with them, but also their own job. Bringing on an inexperienced guest, products that aren't fully available, or sharing stories not based in fact can impact them in a negative way as well. If the story isn't a good fit for you at the time, it's much better to share why, and know that you will be on their radar and file for future fits, and also be known as an honest company at their studio/magazine/blog. Quite the opposite will happen if you stretch the truth for short term gain.
Remember that your pr strategy is a marathon, not a sprint. You want stories that are good fits for your long term brand goals, not short term quick fixes that were gained by half truths or exaggeration. An even better way to secure longer, more quality media relationships? When you aren't a good fit, recommend someone who is! Make yourself a valuable tool for the press and they will keep coming back to you for more!