PR coverage- a new perspective

As you may have heard, last week my agency Wildfire PR released some social media research which saw some pretty excellent pickup all over the place.

As PRs, we’re all pretty used to the value of good coverage- traditionally,  it’s one of the great magical currencies of what we do and a satisfying achievement.  But it’s easy to start seeing it in pragmatic terms as a commodity listed in Excel, meeting targets and making clients happy.  It’s easy to lose sight of what coverage may mean to clients, not just in the marketing department but for everyone from the founders downwards.

Judging coverage by its… cover

Which is why the experience of picking up coverage for this report has been something of a refreshing splash in the face.  After hitting the phones and speaking to many of our well-known contacts, and some new faces, hopes were high but there was a natural niggling doubt in our minds. We had confidence in the campaign but there’s coverage and then there’s coverage.

So there was a real rush of excitement the next day when stories started to emerge everywhere from TechCrunch through to familiar faces like Econsultancy, Computer Weekly and PR Week. We take great joy in securing excellent exposure for clients but there was something new and fresh about this particular experience.  Something which has fundamentally refreshed my understanding of the value of coverage

Duck and coverage

It made me wonder: is this how our clients feel when they see positive stories coming through about their brand? Are we PRs too blasé about such things, underestimating the full impact of great coverage beyond the numbers and a sense of achievement?

Part of me hopes that businesses really do get the little twinge of excitement about coverage that we’ve experienced over the last few days.  If you’re a marketing manager or someone in charge of PR, it would be great to hear from you in the comments as to how it effects you.

Coverage blanket

As a whole, the project has also reaffirmed the faith I have in the power of PR.  A good, newsworthy idea distributed to the right people can conjure great results, with reverberations travelling out through social networks.  What’s more, judging by the whitepaper downloads and leads streaming in, it proves that the right coverage can provide some real measurable results in digital terms.

Something tells me you’ll be hearing more from the Wildfire PR marketing machine in the near future…

Does that cover it?

In the meantime, like I said, it would be great to get some perspective on this. Are you a PR who has become numb or cynical to coverage? Are you a marketing manager too swept off their feet to pause and irrationally appreciate a nice news clipping? Or do those Google News alerts put a smile on your face unrelated to targets and expectations but based on sheer satisfaction instead?

Look forward to hearing some perspectives in the comments below.

- Max Tatton-Brown

August 11th, 2010

  • Rimmergram

    Max – I can relate to both the blase response and the tingling excitement of seeing good coverage for two different reasons. As a marketing director, I expect high quality coverage from my agency and thus the blase response is more applicable in that role. However, as a consultant I get extreme satisfaction from seeing coverage as a result of my own efforts and endeavours for my clients. Thus, I can fully appreciate how you feel about the coverage obtained on your own behalf! PS: I’ve completed the form for the whitepaper, so looking forward to receiving and reading it.