PR needs time. PR needs devotion. PR needs attention.
Let’s face it, PR is needy.
Like any other job, PR needs a team devoted to its one sole purpose.
The biggest mistake I see in companies that need help with PR efforts is that there isn’t enough time and resources devoted to the practice.
Or in some situations, upper management is aware of public relations, but needs some persuading on why it will benefit the company. So in turn, PR efforts are minimal or are halted all together.
As a student, I’ve worked with a handful of companies and organizations that recognize that they need PR and ask me to help them launch social media, outreach efforts, etc., but when I leave, the company has no one to sustain it and the PR efforts I built fall to the ground.
Successful PR is not something that can be managed by part-time employees or a few very busy workers that added these responsibilities on to their plate.
Successful PR is an around-the-clock job. My college instructors always stress the fact that PR is not a regular nine to five job. It is weird hours, weekends, anytime and all the time. If a crisis involving your company happens at 5 a.m. Saturday morning, you’d better believe you’re going to be up and ready to roll for a long day ahead.
Public relations is all about relationships (just as it sounds!). Relationships aren’t a sometimes, kinda-sorta thing. Think about your best friend. Are you kinda sorta close and you’re friends and all, but only part-time when you aren’t doing other stuff?
Relationships are a constant, growing, evolving, all-the-time sort of thing. Relationships need effort, attention and work.
Now let’s put this in a PR context. Let’s take social media, for example (it’s a tangible thing we’re all pretty familiar with).
It’s pretty cool when a brand interacts with us. If you tweet Nordstrom, for example and say “Just bought the CUTEST pair of @Nordstrom jeans!” It’s exciting when Nordstrom tweets you back saying “Glad you loved our new fall style!”
It’s exciting because you feel like you’re being heard; you’re being recognized. A brand you like is engaging in conversation and creating a relationship with you. That’s pretty powerful stuff.
We’ve all bought jeans (or some other product) on a Saturday (not in the normal Monday-Friday work week). If we went to tweet this brand and let them know what we think of their product, what happens from the PR side of things then? What happens when someone engages with you and there’s no one to engage back because it’s a Saturday, or it’s after 5:00 p.m.?
This is just one example of why there needs to be a full time team of people that are devoted to the public relations of a company.
Engagement and relationships don’t stop just because the workday stops. Public relations professionals need to be focused and devoted on this practice on a full-time basis.
Have you run into this problem before too? What other ways do you think can remedy this situation? Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below!
Photo by: 1220Spotlight via Flickr