Abandon All Hope, You Who Chase Quick PR

Every time a client comes to me and asks for quick PR, my stomach churns. Such clients usually ask for PR for events they organize in one or two months, and they don’t have enough attendees. Clients are also often asking for a quick media image boost in the expectation of a successful acquisition or public listing. In the worst case, they realize the customer pipeline is empty, no other business development solutions work, and they turn to PR as the last resort to put the business back on track.

Well, PR is nothing quick. I would like to share with you three things that I’ve learned during the last two years since I have been running Media Education CEE, and three values in which I believe.

PR means long-term thinking.

What you need when you come for a quick solution is a miracle, not PR. Big fast gains have been synonymous with the situation on the emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) after the fall of communism. Yes, this led to the creation of a whole class of nouveau rich, who exist because they spotted the right opportunity at the right moment. Fast gains pay off in gambling or in short-term investments. But when you consider building yourself an image, you need to consider long-term. Just think about it: how long did it take you to gain the respect of your life partner? Not just to gain a life partner, but to gain his or her respect. It takes time, doesn’t it? In order to win the respect of your public, you must behave the same way: know what you want, act upon it and be consistent. It is common sense and the same rule goes for PR as well.

PR means vision, strategy and tactical planning.

It’s not by accident that I mention that first of all, you need to clarify what you want. Not just “I want money; I want new clients,” but “I want to make a million crowns in entrance fees and two million in sponsorship contributions, net revenue for my company.” “I want to attract and retain 100 new customers in the X line of business by the end of this year. They should bring me X net revenue.” “I want to be voted and elected by X people three years from now.” Only then can we talk about the role of communication in achieving your dreams. We can set up a vision, create a strategy, and draw the tactical plan to bring things to life. After that we can talk about concrete resources that need to be allocated to implement the strategy, and about the needs of these specific resources – money, training, support etc. A proverb says: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” So, why put your budget into PR if you don’t know where you’re going? Your investment will bring you value only provided that you have a clear vision in your mind, and you are ready to act to bring it to life.

PR means honesty.

Funny, isn’t it? The second moment when my stomach churns is when a client knows he has a flawed product, and yet he’s willing to put budget into creating a positive image for something that isn’t there.

In the best case, he commits to improving the flaws while building the image of the product. This is, in my view, the road to hell. The time when one could foul people around on cheap promises is gone – or, at least, I deeply hope so. People can check on the reviews of other users, they can test your product, go to different markets and buy a different one. The only way to stand this challenge is to go out when you’re fully ready and to be authentic about what you’ve got.

It’s no problem the product isn’t perfect. The road to success is always under construction. But have the guts to be honest about it, look the problem in the eye, and then honestly and truthfully try to fix it. I believe in the words of Richard Branson that business is about creation – making things that haven’t been there before and that are meant to genuinely make people’s lives better. Otherwise, why bother?

There are a few other points I could make, but I leave them for individual consultations. In summary, PR is for you when you value communication.

Public relations are about the management of your soft interaction with your public (s), whomever and wherever they may be. A professional communication advisor will open your eyes on this aspect, and help you get there. That’s why such advisors belong with you, on your organization’s management board.

You know what the best part of quality PR is? It’s like public speaking. You put some energy into it, and you share something that comes from your heart. After that, your thoughts get mirrored in hundreds and thousands of minds and souls. If you manage to touch them, their energy will come back to you in so many ways that will astonish you. At the end of the day, it’s a very selfish exercise – the more you give, the more you receive. It’s a passionate way to interact with the world while growing and developing yourself.

Does that sound like an effort worth trying?

THIS TEXT HAS FIRST BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE COLUMN MEDIAPOWER BY LEADERS MAGAZINE ON APRIL 10, 2012 http://www.leadersmagazine.cz/2012/04/10/abandon-all-hope-you-who-chase-quick-pr/#.UuCvzbRNyM8

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The best way to gain, retain, and restore your critical distance as a woman CEO is to have a faithful guide, thought partner, and inspiring challenger by your side. This is what I am for women CEOs. If you are facing major developments in your business or in your career this year, we should talk. Please book or have your assistant book a no-strings-attached free 30-minute CEO exploration call with me; we will get to know each other and I will be thrilled to spot how I could be of your service in 2024 and beyond.
Cristina Muntean
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Let's Talk

The best way to gain, retain, and restore your critical distance as a woman CEO is to have a faithful guide, thought partner, and inspiring challenger by your side. This is what I am for women CEOs. If you are facing major developments in your business or in your career this year, we should talk. Please book or have your assistant book a no-strings-attached free 30-minute CEO exploration call with me; we will get to know each other and I will be thrilled to spot how I could be of your service in 2024 and beyond.