PR Lessons Learned (or Reinforced) in 2013

  1. Don’t book a guest for an interview unless you’re sure he’s available. Twice in 2013 I lined up time-sensitive coverage that did not happen. First time, client’s last-minute out-of-town trip (about which he forgot to tell me) kept him from doing a TV spot. Second time, different client was booked on 3 TV stations but had unavoidable staffing issues, which prevented his doing the segments.
  2. Distribute short releases. A client wrote his own release for an event. The client had put much time and effort into it. It was good, but lengthy. After slight tweaking, I sent it out. It gained modest traction. Two weeks later, I sent out a much shorter release with basic info. Got more coverage, including a TV segment.
  3. Don’t brag too much. A local agency touted the dollar value of coverage earned for a client’s opening. (And who knows how accurate those estimates are, anyway?) Just a few weeks later, despite the agency’s good efforts, the client closed its doors.
  4. Ideas shared may be appropriated. I offered a handful of good ideas to a prospect. The prospect later chose to use a much larger agency. Prospect’s initial local media coverage employed my best idea. (Maybe it was a case of great minds thinking alike. Maybe not.)
  5. Events are golden. A client’s story may be somewhat interesting, but an event can make that story timely, relevant and compelling for media gatekeepers and audiences.
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