Welcome to The Rachel Kurzyp Show

You’re listening to episode 24.

Should you pay for exposure?

Today on the show, I want to talk about fake PR and if you should pay for exposure.

I’ve been asked a lot lately about PR thanks to the rise of the Yahoo Finance round-up articles that you may have seen people commenting on OR being a part of over the last few months.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this, let me give you a quick rundown.

From what I understand, Yahoo Finance has a partnership with a PR agency called Boost Media Agency. I’m guessing this is financially beneficial for both parties but I wasn’t able to find evidence of this from my Googling. But let’s assume it is.

So Boost Media Agency is contacting business owners and offering them a chance to be featured in a round-up article on Yahoo Finance to increase their exposure and credibility. BUT this PR opportunity comes at a cost. Usually $300-500 USD.

What’s got me fired up about this situation and why I’ve decided to talk about this today is because at no point has this payment been disclosed. These round-up posts are advertorials and this should be stated on the articles but it isn’t. And, many of the business owners who have been featured haven’t disclosed they have paid for this opportunity.

In fact, they have shared this opportunity with their community as if they have been chosen from a pool of their peers and been deemed worthy of praise and recognition.

And look, I know some of the business owners who have been featured and they are credible and respectable people who do amazing work.

However, many of the people featured are not.

I’m offered a chance to be featured on Yahoo Finance and similar paid PR opportunities weekly and I always say no. And I want to explain why.

The first reason is that it’s tokenistic. As a qualified journalist and someone who has been featured in the media for various topics, I know the work that goes into pitching stories, crafting messages, doing research and maintaining a high level of expertise in any given area. It’s a lot. That’s why I say tokenisitic because the business owners featured are asked to send in a short bio or answer a few questions. Then they are able to say they have been featured in a publication and share that publications logo on their website therefore reinforcing their credibility.

Secondly it erodes credibility. Now that people are starting to catch on to what is happening with Yahoo Finance, the business owners that haven’t disclosed that it was a paid opportunity are at risk of people distrusting their expertise. And you never want to risk your reputation and credibility. It’s also making many people distrust the media and PR opportunities as a whole and this makes me really sad because PR is an important part of any visibility strategy and is a key component in my coaching programs.

And the final reason why I say no is because paid PR opportunities like this one aren’t great for generating leads by themselves. They don’t do much for SEO, who is Googling the top 10 copywriters doing things differently when looking for a copywriter? Often, they don’t offer a link to your website and if they do it’s only to your homepage which isn’t great for conversion. And you can’t control how they promote it or if they promote it at all through their channels (and aren’t given any reporting).

I want to be clear, I’m not saying all paid PR opportunities are bad and should be avoided. I have paid for PR opportunities in the past. For example, I paid to have a 100 word ad in a women’s business magazine to compliment the featured article I had written for them.

The reason why I said yes to this is because the magazine was being read by my dream clients and I wanted to have a call-to-action for anyone who wanted to learn more about me and know what step to take next.

I was also able to request statistics so I could assess my ROI and I felt would be beneficial to me at the time as I was deciding if I wanted to run my courses through the company.

And while I am open to future paid PR opportunities, I’m really considered when choosing which ones are right for me because I want build my audience, credibility, influence and exposure the right way even if that means doing the more work. I encourage you to do this too.

So if you’re thinking about adding PR to your visibility strategy, here’s what I recommend you do instead. Register yourself as an expert on sites like SourceBottle and Help a Reporter so journalists can contact you for comment so you can build your credibility and exposure in your niche.

You can also pitch articles and ideas to traditional media outlets and industry-specific publications so you can share your knowledge, build trust and control your message.

Both of these options are free or low-cost for example, you may want to hire a PR consultant to write a media release for you. And while they will involve more work than paid PR opportunities like Yahoo Finance, you will feel great about them and they will keep on giving even when the news cycle has moved on.

So there you have it, my thoughts on fake PR and what you can try instead.

I’d love to support you to create your visibility strategy inside my 12-week coaching program The Creative Freedom Method. TCFM is where I teach how to find your niche, package up + launch your signature service and create content that attracts your dream clients with ease. This much-loved program has helped my clients become guest experts on podcasts, be featured in the media and share their knowledge in industry publications. If you’ve love to be the first to know when doors open in April and receive $500 off the program price, please sign up to the waitlist today.

Head to rachelkurzyp.com.au/TCFM to learn more.

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