Build Your PR Strategy By Playing a Long Game

2 min read
Marathon runners / Photo credit: Martin Savaria

Marathon runners / Photo credit: Martin Savaria

For a period of time I worked in a high-quality restaurant. The food was excellent, the customers excited to be there, and in any given day nearly everyone left satisfied. It was a simple formula of equal parts pleasantry and quality product that delivered results. PR, unfortunately, isn’t so straightforward, and your PR strategy shouldn’t expect it to be so.

If you’ve been following our advice, your outreach campaigns are well planned, with a crafted pitch and a carefully selected list of reporters. You might believe, as you should, that you have an obvious hit on your hands, and that every reporter you touch jump at the opportunity. If it were only that simple.

The PR formula is complex and filled with innumerable unpredictable variables. The reporter you thought would eager to cover your story might be on hiatus, distracted by a long-term project, unreachable or quite simply uninterested. You may never receive a response from some, and others may politely defer you.

But that’s OK, because PR is a long game. Your PR strategy will be stronger if you realize outreach is part relationship building and part luck. All you can do to address luck is be consistent in your efforts and continue to seek opportunities. But most importantly, you must use your outreach to establish and build relationships, because relationships are what get hits.

Look to gain feedback from your outreach that will help you hone your pitch. If you’ve gotten any response from the reporters you’ve reached out to, that’s a good sign. That means you’ve caught their ear because they realized that you have shown them the respect of understanding them. You’re creating opportunities for yourself later, when the timing is better or luck is on your side.

Maybe you need to develop the business more to have more proof of your concept, or perhaps find good contacts you can share with reporters to flesh out the story. Remember that most reporters receive hundreds of pitches per day. If you have proven that you’re paying attention to them, they are much more likely to pay attention to you.