There is an old axiom about any news is good news if it gets attention. As a public relations agency, there is some truth to that and some untruths. Or alternative facts if you will. Just look at the last few days right here in the Upstate for some stories that tested the boundaries of good and bad PR.
- March Madness was a huge success. Millions saw the word Greenville done up in purple and white along the arena floor. Fans from across the country flocked to stores and restaurants around town. (side note, we saw a ton of Marquette fans the first day…not so much after they lost to South Carolina.) Greenville shined. Then four guys in pick-up trucks started driving around with Confederate flags on the back of their trucks. Every so often they would circle the arena. Especially when crowds were coming in and out. By parking atop a garage next to the arena, they even made it appear that the flag was erected on a city owned building. So for all the good will our city built, it got lost in the mix because the media focused on the flag bearers Sunday.
- TebowGate: Okay, no one but us is calling it TebowGate, but we are referring to the back and forth tweets between the Columbia Fireflies and the Greenville Drive over the latter’s signing of the former Heisman to play baseball this summer. It started out fun. And appeared to be in jest. Then the media caught it and it morphed. Some headlines made it sound like an angry battle for Class A baseball supremacy. That infuriated folks. Our boss, John, even cracked about it on his personal Facebook page noting he once threw out first pitch at Drive game so that was a worse stunt (he was kidding), but people were still angry at the Drive on his page.
So where are we going with this? The question becomes what’s a good story worth? A good story can increase sale and profit margin while helping establish your brand. A good story creates free media. Unlike paid media, having a good story on the news generates trust from the community and that is exactly what your company or nonprofit needs. Getting your business on the news can be tricky without a PR person guiding you along the way. We know what it takes to get something in the paper or on the evening news. Measuring and analyzing the value of PR is an essential part of our work here at Complete Public Relations.