Learning a PR lesson from a persistent snowdrop

How a long-awaited, lone snowdrop reminded me that persistence and patience are needed when running a PR or social media campaign.persistent snowdrop
Over the weekend, when I was away on a trip, my wife texted me to say a single snowdrop had flowered under our blackcurrant bushes.

I was over the moon. I planted lots of bulbs – crocuses snowdrops and tulips – before seeding this patch of soil with grass last autumn. The grass has taken, but whereas long-established bulbs elsewhere in the garden have come up in abundance, none of these new ones had showed any signs of appearing.

I have been scouring this area every morning for signs of growth, but was starting to wonder whether the bulbs had either been eaten by slugs or had rotted. I hadn’t given up, but felt the chances of seeing any flowers were slim.

Patience is rewarded

So news of the first snowdrop was even sweeter than usual. My patience has been rewarded and now I hope to see a few more flowers come up.

This reminded me about the need for persistence and patience in communication, especially in PR and social media. One press release, one blog post or tweet is unlikely to flourish by itself. It needs a planned campaign to plant seeds that will flower with persistent tending over weeks or months.

While this has always been the case, the vast flood of updates and posts now released on the internet every second makes it even more necessary.

One press release or tweet is not enough

A single tweet, post, blog or press release can disappear like a quiet comment in a noisy pub. An interesting, useful or amusing comment can be overwhelmed by streams of photos, accounts of reality celebrities or the latest smartphones and gadgets.

How do you make your voice heard when you talk about something outside these obvious topics which many people stick to because they are the easiest options?

Being original and interesting, of course, but also being persistent and patient. Many people give up quickly when they don’t see instant results. Often you have to wait to see your achievements.

I am certain that other bulbs will now flower in my lawn, because I believe that, given time, they will reach up and flower.

How firm is your footprint in the social media sand?

How firm is your footprint in the social media sand?Whoosh! Look at the timeline flying past.

A blog that has taken hours, maybe days to formulate and minutes or hours to write pops up on Twitter or Facebook and rushes past in a second.

Trying to catch hold of a post reminds me of my puppy when trying to trap moving water with his paw: it was there a moment a go, but where is it now?

Dissolving in the tide

We can lay footprints in the social media sand, but how long do they last before the tide washes their features away and we have to create another impression, then another and another?

The torrent can seem relentless.

And it’s not just social media but all forms of communication.

Plan and breathe

That’s why planning and preparation are essential.

Where can we find new ideas, a different twist on an old theme, a photo of a familiar scene at a different angle?

Drawing up a schedule for most forms of communication provides control, lets us plan and gives us time to breathe.

It also creates the space necessary for inspiration and lets those ideas we seek tumble into our minds. Where do they come from? Why weren’t they there before?

We can use these ideas in our social media, blogging, PR and marketing.

Ride the waves

We can’t fix our presence, as the sand starts blowing away as soon as we make an impression, but if we plan and schedule we can ride the social media wave and catch those moments that thrill.

Write my press release in the dust

Have you ever been in a meeting where someone says “we must do a press release”?Write my press release in the dust

That’s it: the press release is done.

But what does it actually do?

It’s a bit like producing a brochure and having hundreds or thousands sitting in boxes in the corner of the office gathering dust. We’ve invested our time in writing and design as well as money in printing, but we’re not getting any return on our investment as they sit there. All that we get is dust.

Writing the press release is often the easy part. Getting interest in it is the challenge. That’s where we have to ‘do’ a lot more.

If we’ve got relationships with journalists, we can talk to them about it.

We can distribute it to our target list of journalists.

We can post it on our web site.

We can share it on social media networks.

We can talk about it on audio or video.

We can think of other inventive ways to draw attention to it.

A bit like a Twitter stream rushing past, a press release in an email can get lost in a flood of other press releases. And if it doesn’t get noticed, it will have the same effect as those brochures gathering dust in our office.

Developing a process that brings press releases to the attention of target audiences takes some ‘doing’, but will get better value from a PR campaign.

How do you promote your press releases?

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