When it comes to using public relations as a marketing tool to promote your business or share your product story with the world, be sure to keep in mind that it’s a process.
Unless you’re announcing store closures for 50 retailers, holding a press conference to announce political policy or releasing a new version of the iPhone, results don’t happen overnight.
If you’re looking to use the power of PR to land some high-profile national coverage and you want instant recognition; be sure to keep this in mind…
National monthly print media (aka glossy fashion, health and lifestyle magazines) work with long-lead times, about four-months ahead. This means that they finish editing their December editions in August, four-months before they hit the stands. And short-lead newspaper supplements and newspaper magazines work about four to eight weeks ahead. So if you want to see coverage in major metropolitan newspapers by way of lifestyle news, expect it to take four to eight weeks, at least.
Sure, online media opens up the possibilities to short-lead editorial times for lifestyle news where stories can be posted instantly; however reaching online media is also a process that requires set-up of the client account, its various collateral, time, effort and collaboration with the online journalist.
Hot Tip: Trialling PR for a month with the plan to gauge the results to see if you’re getting the right ROI will leave you supremely disappointed. Achieving compelling editorial coverage via PR is an intricate and relationship-driven process (and nothing compared to the mass-produced approach of some media release syndication services which yield very little cut-through). Great results are fostered via a process of collaboration with the journalist, in-line with their editorial strategy, commitments; and above all news value of the story.
If you’re expecting instant results, you’ll be left wondering why coverage figures don’t stack up. PR campaigns must be given time to build momentum, to influence perception and change behaviours and ultimately to have maximum effect (especially when it’s a new product or brand). Promotional strategies like PR are investments, which are designed to raise profiles, build credibility and encourage trial followed by purchase. Very rarely are they a quick fix to produce instant results.
Is PR worth waiting for? Absolutely. Will PR provide instant gratification? Absolutely not.
So the lesson here…don’t hire a PR firm for three months or even six and task them with getting national press and expect to get instant results. Create a long-term relationship and work with your PR firm. Effective public relations requires a lot of things, not the least of which is a big dose of patience.
If you can’t afford to be patient, advertise. If you can’t afford to advertise, don’t expect that the PR will function like advertising. The media are after real, long-standing credible experts, products and concepts. Expertise and credibility must be earned; it cannot be bought with PR. You can earn it by delivering your message consistently time and time again and backing it up by being the true success story that it is or that you are.
What are the first things that come to mind when you hear – ‘lose weight fast’. ‘get instant results’ ‘double your money’? Enough said. The best things in life are worth time and investment.