A recent blog post on HabitLabs confronted an interesting question - whether a company should do a "hard launch" or a "soft launch" of their products and services. By hard launch they were talking about trying to get traditional and new media to publish articles on the company, and with a soft launch they were considering leaking information to key bloggers. What would you say? 

While many of the answers were binary - an either/or approach - the blogger came up with what we believe is the right answer in that there should be no distinction. PR is about cultivating relationships with influential media, whether it's bloggers, journalists, editors, freelancers or whomever. It takes time and it takes talent. 

Trying to finesse a blogger can have disastrous results, just as exaggerating and puffing up a story to a journalist will bite you. In today's world of instant media gratification, having a story line with legs is a decided competitive advantage. This means being prepared with all of your media information ahead of time and planning your approach, including follow-on pitches and updates. 

The final sentence of the post is most compelling - make getting press and publicity a habit. Instead of seeing media relations as a singular event, view it as an ongoing process that can reward the company for years to come.

As the author states, almost any idea or concept will gain acceptance with some group or other. They can then promote the idea via the web, getting trapped in a "thought silo" and polarizing their view. This hardening of the thought process reduces the ability to logically negotiate and discuss the pros and cons of a particular view.