Why honesty should be in every PR’s credentials

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘honesty is the best policy’ before. But it’s especially true in the world of PR. More and more companies see the value in doing PR (especially online PR) but, thanks to the internet, it’s incredibly difficult for them to find the right PR partner. The web has pages and pages of fab agencies and freelancers, and it seems the tech PR industry is particularly crowded. In fact, you only have to Google the term ‘Tech PR’ to see there is so much choice.

This is where honesty comes in. It’s what sets the best agencies and freelancers apart from the rest. Any great PR will be both realistic and transparent to the client.

I recently won a PR project with a tech recruitment company and I believe there were two main reasons why I got the work (hint: there’s an honesty theme).

Firstly, I asked questions about the business. I wanted a deep understanding of what they did, how they were different from their competitors, who they wanted to reach and much more. Only then would I be able to create a PR proposal with realistic objectives and outcomes. What surprised me is that, of all the PRs this client spoke to, I was the only one to ask questions.

Secondly, I was transparent from the start. I didn’t over promise media coverage (after all, I’d only set myself up for failure) and gave examples of the kind of results they could expect based on the answers they provided and my knowledge of what the media look for in a good story.

What surprised me here was that, during my initial pitch, the client said another freelance PR promised to get them into the Daily Telegraph – simply because they had an old friend that worked there. Now, I know strong media connections is a plus but, if a story doesn’t fit into a publication’s editorial agenda, the chances of success are pretty slim.

Needless to say, the client liked my honest approach and they were delighted with the outcomes at the end of the project. And this is the approach I take with every prospect I speak to.  So if you are a tech firm looking to get great media coverage, find a PR who has strong credentials but one who is honest too. Go with your instinct and ask yourself: is the PR coming across as genuine and will they realistically be able to meet the outcomes they’ve set? The answer should only ever be ‘yes’.