PR Word of the Week #11: Antithesis

This week’s PR Word of the Week is designed to make you sound smart for using a big complicated looking word.

I truly believe good writing comes from using new words and avoiding repetition. Therefore, this week, this word will help you replace such words as: opposite, contrast, converse, reverse, and more.

Antithesis

(anˈtiTHəsis)
noun

  1. A person or thing that is the direct opposite of someone or something else.
  2. A contrast or opposition between two things.

Example

Yesterday was the antithesis of a slow news day. With the death of the great innovator of our time, Steve Jobs, and the provincial election underway, newsrooms across the country were probably pretty busy.

Lesson learned

The sentence above brings me to a very important lesson we all must learn in the world of PR and communications. You can plan for the perfect news conference, you can plan for the perfect event and have the perfect media list and the perfect pitch, but if a celebrity dies, a tower falls or the Prime Minister announces free ice cream for everyone, your story or event will not receive coverage. Just think about all the events and stories planned for September 11th, 2001. If you had a press conference planned there was probably no one there, because they were all sent to cover the biggest story of the decade. Yesterday, if you were planning on pitching a story, you probably didn’t get a call back from any journalist, because they were either writing about the election or Steve Jobs.

I have seen so many PR practitioners get mad and discouraged when another bigger story pushes them out of the news’ eyes, but it is the nature of the beast. Instead of fighting the inevitable characteristics of the news, learn not to rely solely on news coverage. PR and communications is not just about getting two or three journalists out to an event or writing a story. It is about engaging with your audience. Yes, one way is to communicate with journalists to write a story targeted to your audience, but there are so many other ways to directly communicate with your audience, such as social media, and other communications tools.

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