Today we have a guest post from Tina Overbury on a topic that’s not frequently mentioned in PR: authenticity.
Authenticity speaks volumes, defines moments, and creates a buzz that carries.
What does that mean for PR? What does that mean for you as a PR professional?
Today, more than any other time in history, the world is listening and you have to wonder, are they listening to you?
An even bigger thought to hold before your PR fingers touch the keyboard or dial pad is, WHY would they listen to you? That’s what they are thinking and that’s what you can be too.
Being clever with a catchy title simply isn’t enough anymore. Today, building and promoting a brand requires the integration of all of the pieces we’ve been separating for the last three decades: The Mission Statement, Values, and Company Culture.
I’m sure that sounds kind of boring, but it’s actually a wicked time to be in the PR Industry. Why? Because we get to take the SPIN out and replace it with authenticity and then guess what happens? We now have our new spin.
Authenticity IS the new spin.
Your inbox is tired of receiving multiple “exciting” emails. Social media is yawning from cute anecdotal updates, newsrooms pass on catchy titles. Why? What gets coverage today? What goes viral? What catches fire then continues to burn brighter, hotter, and travel faster?
Can you fake it? – No.
Can you create it? – No.
Can you chase it? – No.
What can you do? – Share it.
Share it responsibly and with clear direction.
How To Bring Authenticity in PR
Here are five ways to bring greater authenticity to your PR writing, pitching and connecting.
1. Become a translator of your client’s Mission Statement, Values and Company Culture.
Know what your client does and WHY in 8 words or less. For example: Fiitfu CRM Solutions LOVES Customer Service.
2. Talk to yourself.
Before you pick up the phone to pitch your client’s story, spend two minutes engaging yourself in their awesomeness. Talk to yourself (I know it sounds a little nuts, but it works!), get your heart engaged, find the words that fire you up and THEN dial the number.
Here are some tips to help get you started. Try finishing these sentences:
The world needs to know about ____________ because they _____________.
I chose this client because _____________________.
I MUST SHARE this story because ________________.
My client does _____________ like no other.
3. Use quotes from actual clients.
Consider this example: “Everytime I come in here, I fall into something beautiful” - Blushing Boutique.
Quotes tell a story quickly and attach a feeling to the words that the reader remembers.
4. Collect moments.
Include an interesting aside in your press releases that don’t sound like one. Sometimes the aside becomes the story. Here’s an example: “Where dogs can be dogs. Even the neighbouring beaver still builds and rebuilds and calls the ranch his home” – Bowen Island Dog Ranch.
Sounds simple doesn’t it? Why the reminder? Because breath creates space in conversations.
It’s in the pauses that the person on the other end of the phone actually HEARS you. It gives the conversation a chance to truly get going and the pitch to actually be considered.
Think about what it’s like to read a great book, or watch a thrilling movie. It’s in the PAUSES that you as the viewer are ENGAGED. The best stories are surprising yet inevitable. An example of my favourite holiday film pause is the phone scene from It’s a Wonderful Life. The story unfolds as we both LISTEN and WATCH. Nothing shows the magic of a pause better.
Your job as a PR professional is to capture attention, share newsworthy information, and help your client build or repair an audience. Being clever doesn’t cut it anymore.
Authenticity is the PR Professional’s new SPIN.
Tina Overbury is a speaker, writer, marketer and entrepreneur. She’s mom to 3 hockey loving boys, and wife to a tall drink of water, a.k.a. Mr. Todd. She is the founder and facilitator of the Live Your Best Story weekend retreat, and is building LYBS as an integrated way to work and live that puts YOU into your LIFE, your life into your PURPOSE, and your purpose out to the WORLD.
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies.
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