Why PR is like a long term relationship?
In the six years, eight months and one day since I started my agency Bespoke Communications, for every new client that has come on board, I have had another five who have not. Why? One of our terms of business is a commitment to servicing long-term PR client relationships.
I rarely do one-off media release or event jobs for the small businesses, corporates and entrepreneurs who approach me; though sometimes this has been appealing when cash flow has been slow and other client projects are ending.
I know that a reactive PR mindset is not the best way for any company, young or established, to approach PR. Audiences think most highly of brands that have a degree of familiarity and your PR campaign has to create just that.
Like a long term relationship, PR is about falling in love initially with the product or ideas when they are shiny and new but down the track, when your partner (or your PR agency) hits a speed hump or forces you to rethink your reason for being, that is when PR has to matter most.
Here are three big reasons why committing to a longer-term PR campaign – of 12 months minimum — will ultimately make your business thrive better than ever.
- Mutual commitment: The best client/PR firm relationship takes months to develop, then improves over the years. One client in Melbourne has worked with me for close to five years, and it was only after year one was that we really saw the first of many excellent media results and value for PR spend come to light. Good chemistry between ours client and us, their PR firm marks mutual success, especially to embark on new PR challenges like speechmaking or being interviewed live on national TV.
- Getting journalists on board: Long term PR success in mainstream media is all about maintaining healthy editor/ agency relations. The en masse mailings of releases with no follow up calls are least effective. Journalists need to know who we represent and PR people provide the media with talent for powerful stories and stories of high interest to reach their audiences or readers, noting many magazines working three months in advance on their features.
- Amplifying your profile: It’s always great to read about a new start-up that has tapped into a market or product nobody has captured. However, like they say today’s newspaper is tomorrow’s fish and chips wrapping. We are bombarded with tens of thousands of messages weekly, so it’s hard to really stay top of mind. PR is about getting your key messages through various platforms, and creating a solid profile.
If your focus on PR is only about getting one article out there or on announcing your new product launch, be prepared to only reap what you sow. Meaningful PR planning will deliver lasting, long-term results that will sustain your brand beyond the next headline.
Amber has over 16 years of communications expertise in journalism, PR and marketing. She began in media as a print and TV reporter followed a career in corporate public relations working with many big-end-of-town companies as well as SMEs. As Founder of boutique consultancy called Bespoke Communications, Amber’s clients include major corporates, entrepreneurs, artists and not-for-profit groups. She offers media training, PR and writing services. Since 2001, Amber has contributed to a number of books and in May 2013 launched her first e-book ‘Well Spun: Big PR and Social Media Ideas for Small Business’