Your responsibility is to your clients. Of course it. It is their products or services you are charged with promoting and they are the ones paying your bills, so it’s only right you put their needs first.
But sometimes it pays to think beyond your own client list, especially if it helps to put your press release or story pitch into context.
Imagine you are promoting, I don’t know, a new restaurant themed around mashed potato. They do it plain, with butter, with cheese, with cabbage, with spring onion, with black truffle… Actually forget that. That would be so spectacularly weird and wrong-headed it would be a story in its own right.
OK, so it’s a new gin and tonic-flavoured soft drink. That’s more like it. Kind of dull. Would I like to do a feature on a new soft drink? Would I hell.
But what if you did a bit of research and discovered that two other gin-themed soft drinks had just launched. Nothing to do with your PR responsibilities, but you put them in your pitch anyway. “We’ve got this new drink, blah, blah, it’s great. Gin-flavoured soft drinks are the big new growth sector, with the launch recently of x and y.”
There’s a rule of thumb among journalists that one is boring, two is a coincidence, and three is a bona fide trend. So now suddenly we have a potential feature.
True, your client may end up sharing the limelight with two rivals, but a third of something has got to be better than all of nothing.