A Real Life View of PR
How long does a media campaign take? That depends on how you’re measuring it. How long does a successful marketing campaign take? I view media relations as an integral part of running a business, a company, or a career. Many mistakenly view PR as an emergency measure, a tool to be utilized during a crisis, or as a temporary supplement to a marketing campaign. In reality public relations is the most effective strategic business tool at your disposal, not a Band-Aid. An effective media placement campaign is an ongoing building process. It ebbs and flows, but in the long run it is continually advancing you and your business forward.
Whereas the overall campaign is an ongoing process, you will find that various stories or media hooks definitely run their course. Some stories have a self-imposed shelf life. For example, we have put together campaigns for the premieres of feature films, as well as campaigns for politicians running for office, although the two may appear to have little in common (which isn’t really true), they both have a preset time line, a specific date at which point the campaigns come to an end. Once the film closes, or the voters go to the polls, the campaigns are over.
Seasonal campaigns are also self-limiting and holiday-oriented campaigns are dictated by the calendar. Other stories just tend to run their course. We worked with a physician who wrote a book on a nutritional supplement, and were able to place quite a few stories. It was a very hot topic for quite a few months, and we were able to place the client in a number of national media outlets. Then the interest began to wane; it was time to change our scope. We still pitched story ideas, but started to add other health-oriented stories to the pitch.
My advice is to view your story ideas and your hooks as temporary, but your overall campaign as an ongoing part of your business. As your business grows and the seasons change, come up with new ideas to pitch to the media, but keep your campaign moving. So, how long does a campaign take, well you should be garnering media coverage within the second or third month, but an effective media relations campaign is not something that you do for a couple of months, put in mothballs for a year. It is an ongoing component of any successful overall marketing campaign.