Myth Busting: Not All Positive Press Is Created Equal


Szonyi Istvan: Man Reading (artist's father)

Szonyi Istvan: Man Reading (artist's father)

Not all positive press is created equal. Figure out which type of message your company or client needs to be successful, and pitch those accordingly.

Darrel Ng, PR director at Anthem Blue Cross, provided these examples of positive press that can be used—and discarded.

> Helpful: Innovations, lowering XYZ costs.

Consumers want to know about products and services that can make their lives easier in some way, and these types of articles are how they discover your client and at least become a new customer. The best-case scenario, of course, is that readers become brand ambassadors, sharing the article through social channels. This buzz not only creates goodwill for your company, but can attract business opportunities as well.

> Not Helpful: Real estate stories and local hiring stories.  

Simply put, few stakeholders care about where a company is opening a new location. And, unless you're hiring an entire town (or the hiring is part of a CSR initiative, like Levi's "Ready to Work" campaign), that kind of press holds little value for your client.

Follow Lucia Davis: @LKCDavis.


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About Lucia Davis

Lucia Davis is community editor for PR News. Prior to returning to NYC, she was associate editor at iMedia Connection in Culver City, CA. In addition to PR News and iMedia, Lucia's writing has appeared in minonline, "The Minetta Review," "EQUITIES Magazine," and "The Foothills Paper."



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  • Sandra Gharib

    I have to disagree with the “Not Helpful” point. I think this is more industry specific, For example, in the agriculture industry (where I work), press around new locations excites
    locals, puts competitors on their toes, and shows customers that we are
    committed to investing in certain regions, thus investing in them. This speaks
    volumes with our stakeholders.

    • Lucia Davis

      That’s really interesting, Sandra! Darrel was writing from a healthcare point of view, so it’s interesting to read a different perspective. Would you add or change anything on the “helpful” side? Thanks for reading!