Today brings a perfect example of how media relations really does not work. The PR for tonight’s BRIT Awards is backfiring spectacularly because journalists are being asked to send approved tweets in return for their ticket.
As you would hope and expect, these journalists have generated a white hot backlash on social media which is playing out as I write. In fact, it’s now more than a Twitter reaction; you know you’ve got it wrong when Channel 4 News and Jon Snow feel the need to highlight it on their website.
If you think PR is about controlling the media, you shouldn’t be trying to do PR. If you have a message, if you want attention on your terms, make sure you have the story, not a device with which to beat the messenger.
Of course, you could argue that it’s getting plenty of attention as a result of this affair – but there is such a thing as sentiment, which should ideally be positive and not built on you looking like a corporate control freak!
Those are the basics and they’re harder to get right than you might think, but that’s why not everyone is a professional communicator.