March 17, 2011
Imagine you just developed a top-secret recipe for The World’s Best Barbeque Sauce. The sauce is so good that you want to quit your day job to devote yourself full time to selling jars of it to the masses. You take your product to Major Grocery Store Chain and try to convince them to start stocking The World’s Best Barbeque Sauce on their shelves, essentially “pushing” your product to the consumer. However, if you set up a barbeque stand on a busy street corner, start giving out free samples, and consumers start asking Major Grocery Store Chain to carry your product, you are instead “pulling” your product into the market.
Public relations follows the same two strategies of pushing and pulling. The terms refer to how your message is disseminated to the public. Push PR describes the traditional methods—press releases, media alerts, event invitations, press kits, and pitching story ideas. The downside is that you are completely at the mercy of another party—a news editor decides to run your story, your invitation gets into the right person’s hands, etc.
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