5 Lessons PR Can Learn from Valentine’s Day

Feb 14, 2012 admin

In the world of public relations, the calendar means everything. Not only do our calendars tell us which tasks should take highest priority at any given moment, but also keep us from forgetting historically or culturally significant dates that might help draw some much desired attention to a client’s message. On that note, just in time for Valentine’s Day, here are five lessons PR professionals might learn from the favored holiday of florists.

  1. One person’s Hallmark holiday is another person’s Christmas. Valentine’s Day might be for amateurs, but imagine how many relationships and marriages might not have been born but for Feb. 14. When it comes to calendar dates, no anniversary or holiday tie-in is too small or obscure for a good PR professional to leverage on behalf of a client in need of coverage.
  2. It’s the little things that count. Flowers without a card might make a splash at the office, but it leaves the recipient feeling a bit empty or even short-changed. Likewise, a news release without actual news might go over gangbusters in your client’s marketing department, but don’t expect media coverage unless your news release actually, well, releases news. No, not every piece of news you release will set the world on fire, but, at the very least, adjust your client’s expectations accordingly.
  3. Why settle for a day when you can get a whole weekend? Valentine’s Day this year falls on a Tuesday. Terrible news for retailers and restaurateurs, right? Wrong. Much to my chagrin, they made a whole weekend of it. As much as we may have dreaded the extension of a long restaurant wait into a mini season, you have to admire the marketing behind it. A good PR practitioner always maximizes the hit. Take a contributed article and blow it out through your social media channels. Digest your content and regurgitate before audiences who haven’t been exposed to it yet. Dismantle a placement and create related blog posts to reach potential customers. Repurpose blog posts to create new marketing collateral to reach prospective channel partners. The list goes on.
  4. Don’t get lost in the crowd. Proposing to your soul mate on Valentine’s Day may be the most perfectly romantic idea you’ve ever had or heard—and your partner might agree. Just be advised, it has been done before, and there will be plenty of cynics out there calling the move tired, clichéd, and perhaps, even ill-advised. Similarly, a security start-up client might think announcing a launch on the floor of this year’s RSA Conference is bound to make the cover of Dark Reading, but the tide of conference coverage is just as likely to drown your client in a sea of “who cares” as it is to float your launch to the top of a media tidal wave. Weigh your options carefully, and read rule No. 9 of “Nine ways to Sabotage a Good Press Announcement” via @bamonaghan.
  5. Always over-deliver. So, your significant other isn’t expecting a gift for Valentine’s Day? If you believe that, I have a golden ticket to Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory to sell you. In public relations, it’s always nice to have a client with reasonable expectations, but let’s face it…as delightful as we may be, our clients are paying us for results. We might not be able to walk through the door with a dozen roses every time we meet, but remembering to deliver when it counts most (e.g., product launch, customer win or wedding anniversary) will go a long way to ensuring a long healthy relationship in our professional and personal lives.

I’m sure there are countless correlations to be made about how the media-relations side of PR is a lot like dating, but I’ll save that for next year’s Valentine’s Day post. Right now, I have to run to the florist.

Topics: Blogging, Content, Messaging, Press Releases, Product Launch, Public Relations, Social Media

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