By: Mark Macias
By Mark Macias
Public relations is like coffee, but it should never be confused for a quick hit like cocaine. I got that crazy thought this morning as I was pouring a cup of coffee.
Coffee – much like public relations – is needed to give your day a boost. Without coffee, you are not as quick on your feet and it’s harder to get through your day. Every growing business needs public relations just like you need your coffee. A healthy dose of PR, like your cup of Joe, gives your business a jolt and if it’s an effective publicity campaign, it makes your workload easier.
Entrepreneurs and business owners should never view PR like a drug that delivers a quick hit to your bottom line. You risk a huge crash if you take this myopic approach.
PR is not medicine. It’s more like a vitamin. We take vitamins in the morning to stay healthy, strong and vital. We turn to medicine when we need a remedy or when our health is failing. All public relations campaigns will be more successful if they are launched while a company has a healthy headwind.
“Give Me a Quick Hit”
I speak with a lot entrepreneurs and I hear a consistent theme from our conversations: They want to see an overnight correlation between publicity and sales. It is possible to directly increase sales from public relations, but an overnight correlation is an unstable foundation, especially for any fledgling operation.
Bill Gates grasped this concept in the early days of Microsoft. He’s been quoted multiple times, saying “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.”
Another reason why you don’t want to view public relations as medicine is because it gets harder to influence the public when you face negative news. I frequently get unsolicited calls from businesses or nonprofits, asking for advice on how to improve their image following a negative news story. That’s not a publicity campaign. That is a crisis campaign and they begin with different approaches and strategies.
So the next time you’re looking for creative ways to make your work flow more productive, maybe you should grab a cup of Joe and see what it inspires for your next PR campaign.
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Mark Macias is a former Executive Producer with WNBC and Senior Producer with WCBS. He’s also the author of the communications book, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media. Macias consults small and large businesses on how to get publicity.