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By Brian Johnson

There’s a horrible, nasty word that’s used to broadly describe people working in publicity (specifically) and PR (generally). That word is Spin. And that is the opposite of what good PR is all about.

Think through what Spin suggests. It infers that the message has been spun, or distorted. That someone is getting done over. That some sucker swallowed the bait and delivered free coverage for something that didn’t really deserve it.

Practical, effective PR is about Anti-Spin. It’s about identifying a genuine angle of interest “over here” (your organisation, event, etc) and taking it to someone who will be interested in it “over there” (in the media).

Given the shrinking of the various media in recent years, like many other downsized, leaner organisations, you can’t afford to be duping anyone. That will bite you fast.

Like any successful, sustainable business, effective PR is built on long-term, honest, working relationships – between the people who have the story and those in the media looking for good stories.

In fact, it may be worth redefining yourself.

Rather than “doing PR”, start viewing yourself as a private news agency. Someone identifying and framing a genuine story, and taking it to the right audience via the appropriate media types.

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

  • Some call it public relations, some call it PR, some call it publicity. Others describe it as media relations, even marketing. It’s all about getting media coverage for the story you want to tell, and knowing how to go about it.
  • Whether you’re a PR professional, a manager, a lecturer, a student, an association, an NGO or a government agency, The Little Red Book of PR Wisdom  is your key to getting that coverage – with far more value, impact and profile than advertising alone can deliver, a fraction of the cost.