No real relationship builds overnight.
That’s what I tell my clients, and it’s what I know to be true in my personal life too. But when someone’s hiring you to promote their business, they are typically in a position to want it to happen NOW, as fast as possible, and as big as possible.
That’s not a realistic goal.
We all know that things that happen fast, usually end just as fast. So when the owners of my long-time client Joe Cornell Entertainment told me last week the New York Times called recently, they told me in passing. They called the client directly. We had no national pitch out at the very moment that they called.
“The writer said he found us online,” they told me.
I thought about it and decided that yes, it had been our hard work together on their public relations over the past four years that led this writer to call. No direct press release at that very moment, but the nature of the story had the tenor of two past press releases, both of which I sent out online.
Every publicist wants a New York Times story as a feather in their cap, so I joked that I’d claim credit for getting the story. We chuckled and went on about our business, and the story, which came out today, is beautiful – with a photo, too.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized yes, this is what happens when you work together on pitches and local stories over the course of more than four years. You send them out there and hope for the best. My team and I make follow up calls and emails to every media individual that we pitch – and often, we don’t hear from many, especially if they don’t know us at a distant newspaper or national magazine.
When you send it out, though, as we know with everything from the Internet, it’s out there, never to be pulled down. So when a writer like the esteemed Bruce Feiler searches online for companies and places that have etiquette classes for bar mitzvah age kids, it’s likely that he will stumble upon the pitch I sent out a year ago.
Public relations takes time. This example hits it home for me – and I’ve had others like them. A good story will be told. It just may not be told as quickly as one might hope.