It has struck me many a time in the formulating of PR and marketing strategies, that we often get so excited about the potential finish line, that we’re in danger of throwing the race and missing out on the prize.
It’s inevitable that any business embarking on new marketing strategies does so in the hope of some sparkling results, but perhaps it’s the job of agency / consultant to advise if slow-&-steady will gain bigger eventual glory than the all-out explosive PR. I’m sure I’m not alone in having had past experience of PR-ing a client’s new brand, project or product, only to discover that the company itself is not quite as logistically robust to handle the ensuing media reaction as they might have thought.
There can be little worse than going to the trouble, cost and effort of a marketing or PR campaign for a specific cause, only to find that the impact has been too much too soon. Let’s look at a few examples:
Take the new business which wants to sing from the hilltop that it exists and is open for business. Then look at them two weeks later when the publicity storm has directed way more people to its door than the untrained new staff could ably deal with. The result? Customers get a poor first impression of service.
And you know what they say about first impressions……
The other obvious example would be a more established company choosing to roll out a new product or initiative with a fanfare of its own. Imagine thousands having been spent on advertising and on marketing materials and achieving press coverage. Great?
Well, not if the customer service team hadn’t been communicated to about the rollout, or the phone line isn’t man enough to take new orders, or the website can’t cope with a mass of hits – or even that the appointed despatch company is too busy with other contracts to fulfil your upsurge in orders in the promised time?
There’s certainly been enough memorable cases of such problems occurring over recent years….and these aren’t necessarily felt only by small brands without years of marketing knowledge. Remember the launch of the online 1901 census for example.
The amount of PR exposure on national television and in the press was enough to make and comms manager delighted. But then what happened? Well the public reaction sent the website toppling because it wasn’t sufficiently ready for the onslaught of 1.2 million people searching for relatives. Not terminal, but certainly a highlighter of the need to check your internal team, your logistical tactics, and any external suppliers to your business are all fully briefed as to how this episode might affect them.
Moral of the hare and tortoise tale then? Well, certainly not that you need to be a slow coach crawling the course and watching to see the tactics of your competitor.
You still need passion, pace and a determination to take the prize. But strategy, planning and all-round communication are absolutely essential pieces of your pre-race toolkit!
**Do get in touch to see if I can help you decide what ‘PR pace’ is right for you.