What love can teach us about PR
If it were up to Hallmark, February would be a month-long celebration of romance, adoration, and gushy, coupled up, mushiness.
Don’t get me wrong, I am madly in love with love. In fact, I think the world needs more of it.
However, I’ve noticed there’s one issue with this never-ending lovefest: There aren’t enough applicable stories about how we can incorporate the lessons of love into our day-to-day.
No, I’m not talking interoffice romances, going overboard with heart emojis, or sending Valentine’s Day cards to your clients.
Although, if I’m your client, I would appreciate the later.
I’m talking about how you can apply the lessons learned from one of the oldest definitions of love to your business or brand and see immediate results.
Just in time for Cupid to pull back his/her bow, here are six PR lessons that can be learned from love.
Love is patient
There’s no way around it, our society craves instant gratification. We are used to getting what we want when we want it. No exceptions.
That isn’t how PR works.
If you are expecting to see amazing, long-lasting results from your PR efforts in only a few weeks, you’re going to be incredibly disappointed.
Yes, it is possible that you will make the perfect pitch and land a story that earns a flurry of media coverage overnight. You’ll find, however, that the benefits you enjoy from this type of success won’t last that long.
PR is not a short-term strategy. PR is a marathon, not a sprint.
Your business or brand will not get significant, long-lasting results in a short period of time. It just isn’t how the process works.
It takes time to build your brand, to gain credibility, and to shape public perception of your business. It is something your business needs to be committed to for the life of your business.
Love is kind
No matter what your role, but especially if you are a spokesperson for your brand or business, do your best to be pleasant and polite always.
This means always showing everyone at every level respect.
The impressions you make on others, especially those in the media, will bleed into the overall impressions of your brand and, ultimately, sales.
Never blow off an interview or be rude to a media contact. Show everyone respect and they’ll respect you back.
In fact, incorporate the Golden Rule into your PR strategy. For those unfamiliar, it calls for treating others as you’d like to be treated.
This rule goes a long way in PR.
Going that extra mile for both your business and the media means trying to not only think from their perspective, but also to anticipate their needs.
Such simple, considerate behavior creates a better working environment for everyone and ultimately allows you to better serve your brand or business.
And, because sometimes social media makes it easy to forget our manners, always remember: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
If your brand or business is engaging the media, don’t spend your time making fun of the competition. Behaving in this manner will only make you look petty and will do more harm than good.
Both short and long term.
Instead, spend your time with the media promoting your key messages, values, and your products and services.
After all, there’s no need to give free publicity to your competition.
It does not envy
While it may be human nature to envy, it also is a huge waste of time.
Especially where PR is concerned.
Don’t be intimidated by other brands or competitors who may have bigger budgets or PR teams than you. You know who they are, the ones that always seem to be doing #allthethings. Popping up in every media outlet almost daily.
They aren’t you, they don’t have your goals, and spending time worrying about others takes energy away from you doing what is best for you.
I know entrepreneurs who have secured placements on The Today Show and in Real Simple without a dime as their PR budget or any assistance to speak of.
One friend’s media pitch filled with faked confidence even resulted in 33,000 orders in 24 hours!
I also know that just because Martha Stewart Living covered a certain type of art to decorate your home with in their January issue, it doesn’t mean they’ll never cover another artist again.
With PR, it doesn’t matter how big your business or budget is. It also doesn’t matter what your competition is up to.
It only matters that you put in effort and stick with it. We all start somewhere.
It does not boast
No one likes an annoying bragger. However, people do love to celebrate other’s successes.
Hearing about another’s success helps keep us all motivated and shows us there’s light at the end of the struggle.
Once you’ve received media coverage, don’t boast about it, but spread the love by PRing your PR.
What does that mean?
It means to extend your 15 minutes of fame in a strategic way to further the brand recognition you’ve just receive from a media placement.
It also is an exercise in making your media coverage work its hardest for you.
While it might sound complicated, PRing your own PR is actually very easy. Learn six easy ways to PR your PR here.
Love rejoices in the truth
Every February, we celebrate George Washington’s birthday. And, in elementary schools across the country, teachers share the story of George Washington and the cherry tree with their classes.
The man who cannot tell a lie will always be remembered in our nation’s history as the leader who founded our great country on trustworthiness and honesty.
That same spirit of honesty still applies today regarding PR: Don’t tell a lie.
Between fact checking and social media, the truth will always come out. Getting ahead, even on a white lie, isn’t worth it. Plus, it’s incredibly unethical.
Be completely transparent in all your PR efforts.
By laying your cards out on the table, you’ll not only gain the media’s trust, but your PR efforts will reach monumental levels.
Love never fails
One of the greatest things about love, is that it never fails you.
You know what else will never fail you? Having a PR plan.
A well-crafted PR plan will help you establish goals, identify measurable objectives, lay out your strategies, and plan supporting tactics to achieve your PR goals.
While there are a multitude of different formats and formulas to follow in the PR planning process—ranging from a simple outline to a lengthy novel—it’s important to have a plan in place.
Use this free template as your guide for getting your PR plan in order.
Remember these simple tips when you go to woo the media with your PR, and you’re sure to be at the top of everyone’s love list.
Are you feeling the love with your PR efforts?