Everybody’s Watching

When you distribute a media release and it leads to coverage, who sees and hears it? Who will take note and possibly respond to it? Potentially everybody.

Years ago, a press release was mailed (and, later, emailed) to a select group of gatekeepers. Now, a release that is sent electronically to a contact list is frequently also posted online, available to everyone’s eyes.

Coverage in a mass medium is similarly available to everyone’s eyes and ears, on demand, thanks to online archiving. The main target of your message may be a certain segment of the general public. But other segments can also experience the coverage. They include:

  • Your competitors
  • Your vendors
  • Your professional service providers (attorney, accountant, consultant, etc.)
  • Your regulators (government officials)
  • Your financing providers (bankers, investors, silent partners)
  • Your employees
  • Your neighbors
  • Your family

A David Craig PR client last year chose not to offer a local business publication even a ballpark figure for his company’s annual gross revenue total. (Certain media prefer to include that number in coverage.) The client feared that his employees might feel underpaid were they to see that figure.

Another client wanted to share certain sales promotions only with those on his marketing email list and not via social media. His concern was that his competitors would take note of his deals and trump them.

Even coverage in obscure media, such as a highly targeted trade publication or a TV station in a small market, can be shared via numerous online venues.

When you put out your message, remember that is can go in many directions to multiple audiences. What resonates with your primary target may be offensive or upsetting to another group. When you know your content will be polarizing, try to indicate respect for those with opposing ideas.

Everybody may not be watching, listening or reading. But you may be surprised by who is paying attention.

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