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The Public Relations Grand Slam

» Introduction
PR is a cumulative process, use what you can from each media placement and keep moving forward.
» Step 1
One of the primary reasons people become disenchanted with public relations is because of what I call the grand slam mentality. Too many people believe that next TV interview or magazine article is going to be “it”. It's going to change their lives. That one story will turn it all around. All of their problems will be over. Millions will pour in, they'll be able to move to the Bahamas and retire. Well, it doesn't happen that way. So you best come back to earth with the rest of us. You are launching a professional media relations campaign, not playing the lottery. I have had clients who have called, furious that their appearance on a national talk show or in a national magazine did not result in thousands of calls. One particular client was especially disappointed when her national TV spot only resulted in a couple of hundred calls in two days. Personally I thought a couple of hundred calls off one segment, in that amount of time, was great. Even though those calls paid for my service many times over, they did not fulfill her grand slam expectations. It was not the super-jackpot, over-night, life-altering event she had hoped for.

» Step 2
Then again, grand slams do happen. There is the other side of the coin. Sometimes you'll hit a home run when you least expect it. Be prepared. There are times when, what you think will be a small piece will turn into a major article or TV segment. So, even though you don't spend your time dreaming of hitting a grand slam, you had better prepare for when you hit one.
» Step 3
Not long ago I worked with a small, struggling company that barely made enough to stay afloat. We were able to place what turned out to be a seven-minute segment on their product on a national TV program. The segment was perfect. We couldn't have done a better job of presenting the product in a positive light ourselves. Well, the piece struck a chord. It hit, and hit big. Calls poured in from all over the country. The demand was overwhelming, so much so that their phone lines blew. They were not prepared to capitalize on what could have been a grand slam. Still, although they were unable to take full advantage, it did launch their business.
» Step 4
The moral is, you never know. So, do your best, get the interviews done, and then let 'em go. If it's not exactly what you wanted, it has added to your PR resume. It did its job. Use that one quote, or that one sentence, or whatever you come away with, in your press releases, and bios. PR is a cumulative process, use what you can from each media placement and keep moving forward.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2008

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