Recently one Saturday afternoon I popped on the Cooking Channel and caught the end of a program that showcased unique, handmade products. The segment was highlighting a small company from Georgia that made jalapeno and peach jelly, among other things. The show ended and I moved on to other household duties without jotting down the name of the company.

Later that evening when I hopped online I remembered the show and how delicious the jelly sounded. I couldn’t remember the name of the company so I started my search with the Cooking Channel website. I tried various iterations of the product but this produced no results. I moved to Google and searched the key words that stuck out: jalapeno, peaches, Georgia and jelly. I faintly recalled the name of the company so I tried adding different spellings of that as well. Again, nothing. With my mouth watering and my wallet ready to make a purchase, much to my dismay, I could not find this product. I abandoned my search for the moment and revisited it a few days later. Perhaps eating more fish helped my memory because I managed to recall the name of the company: Jalopy. I plugged that into the search and eventually found their site ( Now several days removed from the first point of contact, I wasn’t as eager to purchase. It became a chore to try find a product that I needed to cough up money for!

This incident led me to ask a question; would your product, brand or service pass a digital audit?

It is a bit of a conundrum. A profile piece on a national broadcast outlet like Cooking Channel is the equivalent of PR gold for a start-up company looking to get their name out there. In the “good old days,” this broadcast hit would have garnered high fives agency-wide for a job well done. After all, a broadcast hit is a huge feat by any definition. Here’s the problem. Today it is simply not enough.

Now I’m not one of those people who has written the obituary on PR. On the contrary, I firmly believe PR still holds a tremendous amount of value when utilized as a strategic cog in your marketing wheel. The key is to make sure you’re closing the loop so when positive publicity drives a sales opportunity you can actually close that sale. Increasingly the gap between “PR,” “web” and “social media” continues to close by necessity. Whether you’re gearing up for a PR campaign or are already engaged, the goal of your media coverage, regardless of where it appears, should be to create another touch point to start a conversation with your target audience.

Guest post by Dario Chiarini.
Dario helps businesses, brands and people prosper in the fragmented media universe by connecting their marketing to create a cohesive, consistent message on and offline.
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