Seat of your pants PR

It would seem that even the spin doctors in Downing Street don’t always get it right. PR Week reports that it has promoted Emily Tofield as part of its efforts to more positively communicate the public sector cuts and the Big Society.

Another example of ‘seat of your pants public relations’? It’s an all too common phenomenon, where companies think about how they are going to promote a new product or service too late in the development process. Typically they bolt on some PR effort either after the event or with too little notice to get good results.

PR is not a bolt-on, but needs to be part of the business plan from the inception of a ‘good idea’. Publications have deadlines that can be many months in advance, so to make it relevant to them careful planning of when to release stories is needed. And, websites won’t cover something that has happened – it’s old news and is the Internet equivalent of tomorrow’s fish & chip wrapping.

Remember, that when you are planning something that you think might have PR potential, to start talking to your PR department or consultancy as early as possible. They can then come back to you with a suggested timescale that will help them to get the best value out of a story.

I wish Ms Tolfield lots of luck in her new role. I just hope that the PR horse hasn’t already bolted before the Government has shut the stable door!

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