PR IS ALL ABOUT THE LONG GAME - Part 1

12 August 2019 Annette Densham

We live in an age of instant gratification where we all want things done now, without delay. On top of that, we want spectacular results … AND at a bargain price. 

Unfortunately, the reality is that despite being bombarded with quick fixes and gurus offering the world, nothing beats keeping your nose to the grindstone and doing the work needed for this success.

So when it comes to PR and getting attention for your business, there are some basics that can, and will make this happen. Unfortunately, our fixation with going viral, becoming influencers and scoring that big TV interview is clouding our judgement since there’s no such thing as an ‘overnight success’. And those brands you’re watching with envy committed to seeing through these basic steps … over, and over, and over, and over to get to where they are now. 

Yep. Building a rock-solid brand can take years. 

So if you’ve ‘tried’ PR and feel it hasn’t worked for you, let me share some common causes of failure, which include: 

Mistake 1: You Gave Up Too Early 

It’s like going to gym to lose weight. While two individual gym session won’t melt the fat away, committing to this each week for a few months will definitely start to generate results.

Likewise, if you’ve only sent out a couple of releases/pitches and answered a few SourceBottle call outs, don’t waste time wondering why you are not the next big thing. PR is a long-term strategy; not a magic bullet. 

PR is a long-term strategy; not a magic bullet.

It’s akin to planting seeds – you need to put lots in the ground to generate a full harvest.  

There are so many reasons why a story or SourceBottle response does not get picked up that doesn’t always have to do with the value of the story. Your email got spammed. The journalist is away and gets back from holidays to 100s of emails. Heaps of people answered the call out. You were not quick enough. The story has been run before. Your email got buried in their inbox. 

And a one-off media release MAY get cut through if the timing is right, but good PR is the result ongoing deliberate actions, month after month based on successfully building relationships and having a diverse and robust plan. The solution is to keep going. Every day, week, month. 

The solution is to keep going. Every day, week, month.

Build a media contact list you can work to develop relationships with journalists. And keep offering good newsy stories that their audience will love.

Likewise don't forget to answer SourceBottle call outs every day. And do not stop at just one (or two).

Mistake 2: No Plan

Imagine getting into a car to drive to Darwin without looking at a map. Chances are you will not make it to your destination because you have no idea where you’re going.

Sure, you might know where you want to go, but that's only half the process. To get to where you want to go in your business, you must plan. And yes, I know you hear this all the time. (It’s a bit like when you were a kid and your Mum kept asking you to clean your room – after a while you just stopped listening.) But just because you can recite "fail to plan, plan to fail", it doesn't mean you apply the principle in practice. Unfortunately, in my experience many don't.

A plan keeps you on track. It helps you organise and analyse what’s working so you don’t waste time on strategies that are not giving you long-term results. Best yet, a plan takes the ‘guess work’ out of the next step, because you’ve taken the time to work that out in advance. 

A plan takes the ‘guess work’ out of the next step, because you’ve taken the time to work that out in advance.

Your PR plan should include info about your target audience – both prospective client and media contacts - story ideas, platforms to use (Facebook, Insta, website, media, digital media, podcast, awards) and a month-by-month breakdown of what you need to do to realise your vision of success.

"Ok. What else?" you ask.

Stay tuned for Part 2 when we look at what else you need to do to stop SABOTAGING YOUR SUCCESS. 

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