Beware of the column inch promise!

Whither PR measurement?

What’s one public relations promise that should make you wary of the agency that comes in to make a pitch for your account?

The answer is simple, and straight forward. And most of us on the other side — the client side — of the table know this answer well.

Its the promise of column inches in print, air-time in news channels, and news-time in the general entertainment, news or business channels!

With the advent of competition and a handful of also-ran self styled PR guru’s and their clan, column inch and air-time promises are offered on a platter, and even put in the RFP’s by the clients inviting pitch.

The erstwhile Gujarat government, with Narendra Modi,may be a good brand for PR measure, but yours? And when one brand gets the promise of PR measurement in its terms of engagement, there’s an irresistible itch with a host of others who seek public relations counsel.

Columns centimeter driven PR is passe — and whomever does it in the pitch is in a wild goose chase… the probability is high that the team that comes in to make the pitch, with promises galore may not even be seen after the win. The team that shall deliver the work on the ground will be different and just try pleasing you with a promise of the future.

Not just that — what is the context, where do you want you to be seen in the news? in print and visual — is it relevant to your target audience, the product you wish to sell, and in your segment… there are so many questions in the PR outcome vis a vis your need.

Every brand cannot be like a Infosys or Namo — where even loads of column inches even in the negative, will make sense. Would it be so for your company and brand?

Then why would you fall for the PR pitch that promises the PR measure moon? Look at the specifics, the context, the placement and the timing. Those are the relevant factors.

See PR measure in that framework. That will make eminent sense, than just to paint image stripes on your ‘cat brand’ and trying to emulate the tiger.