“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, it’s what we do consistently.”
In any relationship, you either keep your promise or you don’t. Time and time again, we can choose to show up for our loved ones, to lend a helping hand, or a round of applause in support. It is through consistency of virtue that we build trust in others, and it is over time that our stories and our identities become heard and understood most deeply. In the world of PR, the inherent truths of human relationships are no different.
You wouldn’t take a ‘quick fix’ approach to your relationships and it’s just not enough to accept ‘quick-fix’ media hits either. It is mission critical for any business to develop a comprehensive PR strategy and consistently implement it over time. We have to show up for our clients, our brands, partners and customers, consistently.
Building Relationships With Journalists
The more value you bring to journalists, the more they will begin to trust your work and want to publish your stories. The stronger the relationship, the more mutually beneficial it will become. No longer will you be on one side asking for favors. Over time, the editor might even reach out to you, asking for your added perspective and depth of knowledge, especially when he/she realizes you are a true thought leader in your industry.
Becoming a Thought Leader
A glowing article about your business can be impressionable, sure, but after its 15 minutes of fame, the voice is completely lost. In the media space, there surely isn’t a shortage of content, and stories will continue to crop up everyday about others on the same mission as you.
You get your coverage and you’re happy. But now that you’re sitting back, doing nothing in-between, you are doing the greatest disservice to your business and your brand. Now, the compelling voice that was once heard becomes muted out by the media scream. No longer will you be remembered as an industry leader, or even command the space as a thought leader. Losing time and influence, you can become invisible.
Establishing Consistency With Your Message
Where will your business be in ten years? What about 25 years from now? Short-term success is just that, short-term. Long-term, consistent media coverage is the only way to establish brand awareness, the most lasting impression a business can have, and the very foundation for scalable growth over time. The key here is to be consistent with your message. Only then will the public become receptive to your identity, and begin to make lasting associations with your brand that will stand the test of time.
Create, Don’t Advertise
How do you make your message resonate? Why should people care? In a unique time when traditional advertising is being replaced by digital, brand engagement is shifting and demanding greater interactivity. Now, a catchy slogan is simply not enough. Consumers, whether traditional or business-oriented, want compelling stories, high-quality video and incentivized social media campaigns. While a promotional ad screams and shouts, creative content can speak to consumers on a much deeper level.
Include a Full Spectrum of Media
In PR and advertising, it’s all about reaching your target audience. But with PR, there’s a bit of an extra step, reaching the right outlet to do so. The most effective way to reach both your short term and long-term target audiences is to include a full spectrum of media. Reaching a variety of relevant verticals and outlets is a great way to build momentum and engage with different people who could benefit from your message.
What’s The Angle?
When it comes to landing press coverage, the first step is ensuring that your press request doesn’t end up right in the trash. Editors get bombarded every second with new story ideas, many times ones that are inconsistent with the outlets they service. Reaching a full spectrum of media requires you to go deeper, to uncover the hidden layers of your brand. What kinds of stories does the outlet typically deliver? What values seem to pulse through its published works? What kind of people does the outlet reach? What are their wants and what are their needs? Before reaching out to editors, you have got to do your homework and do the research needed to tailor your story. You might have to get creative, but your angle is there, and it will give you deeper insight into the future of your brand as well.
In public relations, there is no time like the present! Short-term hits will only deliver short-term results, but with a consistent purpose, message, and voice, you and your brand may build real, trusted relationships and continue to offer your value to the needs of the public.