Trylon Communications  - December 2005

Blocking and Tackling

As PR gains recognition as a branding vehicle and begins to get more of the marketing budget, it is easy for practitioners to fall into the “big-picture” mode and forget what got them to the table. The goal is to gain publicity for clients (hopefully positive) and that involves the fundamentals of media relations, story pitching and interviews.

Big picture strategies won’t get your company additional ink in the press. They won’t get you on the cover of Business Week or industry trade magazines. They won’t even get you interviews or speaking gigs.

Blocking and tackling accomplish these goals. Forging relationships with influential journalists in your industry leads to interview requests, calls for source material and speaking opportunities at high-profile events.

It is hard work that brings results. Researching media to find the right people to target is a long and thankless task, yet one that pays big dividends when new relationships are formed with the right people. Actually reading, viewing or listening to their work, and talking with them knowledgably about their beats, lays the foundation for strong working relationships. Cultivating these relationships by volunteering valuable information – even when it doesn’t directly benefit your company – strengthens the bonds.

“Big-picture” pitches that fall short on the tactical aspects of a PR program snow too many marketing executives who would be better served paying more attention to the details.

As we say goodbye to 2005, and going forward, focus on your goals and orchestrate the tactical operations that can help achieve them. This is the kind of strategic PR thinking that makes sense.