Don’t Stand In The Way Of Your Own Best Efforts

Don’t Stand In The Way Of Your Own Best Efforts

In my time counseling clients, I have found that the two biggest obstacles to a good PR campaign are the two Ps: Procrastination and Perfection. Too many times, companies will procrastinate in getting their campaign started and tag their campaign launch to something artificial like a product launch (which isn't news, unless it's the iPhone 4) or a new initiative. By and large, the media couldn’t care less. Your message, combined with something that is hot in the news cycle, is your hook, and if you're doing it right, waiting is not an option. The second element, perfection, is something that drives many companies to delay their campaign. Executives will debate messages and news angles to the point of diminished return, and wind up unnecessarily delaying their PR campaigns.

My point is simply this: you need to start now. Not next week, not next month.


After all, isn't that when you want your potential customers to act? Many consumer businesses have taken to using the "right now" message in their advertising. A leading brake service provider uses the "now" message in their radio ads, stressing that waiting to take care of a potential brake problem could cause more costly damage to your car's brake system. Empire, a leading manufacturer and provider of flooring and carpet solutions for consumers, has even changed the name of its company to Empire Today. Their point is that waiting for the "bargain" will cost their customers more money in the long run.

So, if you want your potential customers to act today, that's exactly when you need to start your PR campaign. Getting ready to get ready never got anyone any additional business. What's more, the dog days of summer will soon give way to the busy days of Q4, and if you want to have a chance at making an impression during the busiest time of the year, you HAVE to start now. Here's why.

The Holidays. Yes, I know that when it's 90 degrees outside, it seems like a weird time to be thinking of the holiday season, but the media doesn't think in those terms. Media folks like to take time off for the holidays as well, which means they have to start working on their holiday coverage early. Long lead publications are already working on their October and November issues, and if you want to be included, you need to start communicating with them now. Moreover, short leads start working on their holiday gift guides and reviews in August and September. If you have a consumer product or service that is compatible with the holiday season, this is when you need to start communicating with the media to promote it.  If you don’t, then think about creating one today!

Revenue. If you're like most businesses, the year is going by faster than you'd like, and you are behind on your revenues, either falling short of your projections for 2010 or compared to how you did last year. Either way, the only way to increase the inflow of business is to increase the outflow of marketing. There is no better value in marketing than PR, so why let your campaign languish as your revenues stagnate? If you're going to have any hope of picking up the pace, PR is your best friend.

Discover what you can write about. Here is something to think about, are you doing anything special over the next few months? If not then you need to build it into your fall campaign. Free classes, special events, community outreach and anything else you can think about will go a long way to building a rock solid PR campaign.

I'm always asked the question about how long a good publicity campaign should last. Invariably in the media business, more publicity is always better. Still, the question is a good one, and it bears answering.

To do that, I want you to think of the consumers you're trying to reach as a quiet pond in the wilderness. If you want to make the pond ripple, throw a pebble in it. Big rocks make more waves than small pebbles, but even so, the ripples eventually end if all you're doing is throwing in one rock at a time.

If you want the pond to ripple continuously, you can't just throw in one pebble or even one giant rock. However, a steady stream of pebbles, timed so that the ripples never truly subside, will keep the pond moving from the vibrations you generate.

That's the way it is with PR. A few pebbles are good because you need to start getting your message out to consumers, and you never know who is reading, listening or watching. So what you really need is consistent exposure to create consumer awareness. Consumers need to know who you are and what you're about, and awareness can't be delivered with just a few pebbles. Awareness is something that is built from consistent publicity. Like it or not, that's the honest truth.

Nothing good ever gets done without persistence, whether it's establishing your career, starting a new company, launching a new brand or writing a book. The same holds true with your promotional efforts. A successful campaign requires more than the toss of just a few pebbles.

What it really boils down to is that the people who have real success with PR approach their public relations campaign with the same principles that they used to build a successful business: They were persistent and consistent, and they didn't procrastinate. I bet if you ask anyone you know who has been perceived as an "overnight" success, they'll tell you it was a really long night that led to their success.

Marsha Friedman launched
EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. Some of the more prominent names on her client roster are Teamster's President, Jimmy Hoffa Jr., Sergeant's Pet Care Products, Former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane and the famous Motown Group, the Temptations.