Timing is everything – PR campaign scuppered by Royal baby

Royal news on the agenda
Royal news on the agenda

I was going to write a blog last Friday about how PR is all about timing and typically…I delayed it. Good thing too as I wanted to use a LIVE case study.

You see, it isn’t a simple case of bashing out a press release here and there. The best campaigns include elements of sheer opportunism, cheek, and frankly, downright usefulness.

We play the “useful” or “expert” card pretty strongly at Press For Attention PR as we mainly work on Business to Business (B2B) campaigns. Basically, we help our clients who are hired for their expertise to showcase that expertise via the press.

We do this by seeking out opportunities to comment on key events – locally, regionally, nationally, or on occasion, globally.

It is known in many jargon-laden PowerPoint presentations as “thought leadership” and it works beautifully. Too many campaigns seem to focus on shoehorning company “news” into target publications rather than thinking about how they might be able to work with, rather than against, the press.

It is essentially selfish v selfless PR.

Here’s an example. Last week I had a tweet come through from a trusted media partner who had been contacted by ITV News because they were seeking a local business figure to talk about the disruption to the local economy by the redevelopment of Nottingham train station.

Rolling – ITV’s crew at Cherry Professional

Quick as a flash I contacted a client who I know excels at giving useful content and we set the ball rolling. The next day, the film crew was at my client’s (Cherry Professional Limited) offices recording a segment with him ready for the Friday evening slot.

My client is a director of a recruitment company. This was not about recruitment, but the wider local economy but it was great to get him seen to be a voice of local business and also to be seen to be asked for his views by the press.

Minutes later and my client phones back to say that local BBC radio wanted a similar piece – we’re on a roll. We’ve done a lot of work with them over the years and my client always focuses on providing useful comment and content, not trying to sneak in marketing messages.

That was scheduled for this Monday morning. However…it was then put back as the news of the royal baby’s imminent arrival was dominating the news agenda. Naturally, my client understood and made himself available for the evening slot instead.

This patience and understanding of the media agenda was indeed then rewarded with a nice bit of coverage in the Drive Time slot.

The lesson to learn here…be available, be useful, be flexible and…don’t forget, the news agenda shifts very quickly.

Don’t get too upset if your angle disappears. Just be sure that you are available again next time.

News moves...quickly
News moves…quickly