Thursday, February 27th, 2014

There's At Least Two Sides To A Story - By Brian Johnson, author of The Little Red Book of PR Wisdom

Should you be successful in generating media coverage, you may also be providing oxygen for your opposition.

The media like to feel as though they’re presenting both sides (or more) of a story. So if there’s an obvious counterpoint to what you’re promoting, expect them to go there. Sometimes you might be surprised at what will be generated.

Your Correspondent has done PR work for a national association which promotes the many health benefits of breastfeeding. However, our success at raising awareness saw the nation’s leading anti-depression organisation put out its own media release.

It suggested “feeding guilt” – among mothers who could not breastfeed – was becoming a significant issue.

Both respected organisations. Both with genuine story angles. Both correct in what they were saying – and totally at odds with each other. Perfect media fodder.

So, if you find you have given oxygen to a fire you didn’t intend to light, should you fan it further by responding?

If you believe in the strength of your message (which you should in the first place), and/or feel some criticism needs to be corrected, then definitely respond.

In fact, if you don’t panic in the face of criticism you can now extend your time in the spotlight – and capitalise on the profile you are generating.

It’s about being ready, willing and able to join the debate.

This advice is drawn from The Little Red Book of PR Wisdom by Brian Johnson, an award-winning journalist and leading PR practitioner.



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