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Should it be an Ad…a Post…or PR?

God says to me with a kind of smile,

“Hey how would you like to be God awhile

And steer the world?”

“Okay,” says I, “I’ll give it a try.

Where do I set? How much do I get?

What time is lunch? When can I quit?”

“Gimme back that wheel,” says God.

“I don’t think you’re quite ready YET.”

— “God’s Wheel” by Shel Silverstein

You’d assume most businesses can choose the best messages and the best media for themselves right? Then you notice a sign in a store window that reads, “Closed Sundays.” It doesn’t read, “Open Monday through Saturday.” No sir, this business spent good money to let customers know when they could NOT shop there. Clearly, some organizations are not ready to take the wheel of their messaging world.

Today, with so many media choices, it’s even easier to say the wrong thing or use the wrong vehicle. So when you have something to say you may wonder, “Should I advertise it? Should I post it on a social media? Or should I send out a press release and try to get some ink?”

Have no fear, the answers are here. Below, you will find twelve (12) examples of several types messages or situations. After each, I’ve recommended the best media for that message or situation: Ads, (Social Media) Posts and/or PR. I’ve also included some suggestions on how you can use the message effectively.

#1. Message/Situation: Your store will be closed on Memorial Day

Best Media: Social Media Posts.

#2. Message/Situation: You’ve developed a new (industrial or B2B) product that might be the best in the market.

Best Media: Ads, Posts + PR. Note: The PR for these messages may be targeted to trade publications, their websites and also financial and business networking sites like LinkedIn.

#3. Message/Situation: Your customer provides a testimonial.

Best Media:  Social Media Posts.

#4. Message/Situation: A lawsuit with outrageous and false claims is filed against your company.

Best Media: None. Why? Nothing can be gained. Customer confidence could be hurt if you make it public.

#5. Message/Situation: The plaintiff in the lawsuit releases the story to the press and on social media.

Best Media: Posts + PR. In calm and clear language, indicate that a claim has been filed and you intend to defend your organization. Ask customers to stand by, offer to meet with larger customers and to talk to any who want to be called.

#6. Message/Situation: Many customers make positive comments or provide testimonials.

Best Media: Ads + Posts.

#7. Message/Situation: Everything is 50% off and you’ve never discounted this low before.

Best Media: Ads + Posts.

#8. Message/Situation: Your organization has a levy or issue pending on the local ballot. A disgruntled former employee calls up a local radio talk show with false and negative “facts.”

Best Media: None. Why? Most local talk shows have very limited audiences. If the radio host or station is credible, they will seek your side and allow you to come on or respond with a written statement. If the host does not call at all, that usually means they know the information the caller is using is false or questionable.

#9. Message/Situation: You won an award for productivity and the governor is coming to hand it out.

Best Media: Ads, Posts + PR.

#10. Message/Situation: Customers can enter a free contest to win something in your store.

Best Media: Ads + Posts.

#11. Message/Situation: Your firm made a donation to a local charity.

Best Media: PR + Posts.

#12. Message/Situation: For every purchase, a certain amount will be donated to a local charity.

Best Media: Ads and Posts. Why no PR? The key is you are requiring a purchase.


So… are you ready to take the wheel of your messaging world? Or, are you not quite ready yet?

About The Author

  • Author | George Farris
George Farris is CEO and Senior Brand Coach at Farris Marketing. Connect with George on LinkedIn using the icons above.

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