Everything I know about PR I learned from my cat.
Well, not actually everything, as I have been in the field for longer than she’s been with us. But certainly I have learned a lot from her.
Here are some of the biggest lessons.
The power of the goal
When our cat Muffin wants something, nothing else matters. When it’s dinner time, treat time, or just cuddle time (according to her), she is relentless. She has refined focus to an art form.
The same is true in PR. To be good, you need to “keep the end in mind.” Remember what you are trying to accomplish. Always measure what you’re doing by how well you are reaching your goal.
Of course, my goals are generally more esoteric than a bowl of tuna, but that makes it all the more important to stay focused on them.
The power of creativity
Muff lives by the simple premise that, if one approach doesn’t work, she’ll do something else. So if we don’t pay attention when she’s talking at us, she’ll walk across the keyboard and rub up against me. If I don’t respond, she’ll work on her Dad instead. Granted, her repertoire is somewhat limited, but she will use all the tools she has to get the job done.
So too in PR. If contacting one reporter isn’t working, contact another. If there’s no response to e-mail, then phone or (even) mail the material. If no one is interested in one story idea, develop some others. There’s always another way to reach your goal.
And finally, the power of persistence
Muff does not quit. If she’s monitoring the activities of the squirrels from the window, she will stay fixated until they are out of view. If she thinks it’s “treat time,” she will ask, and ask, and then ask again. If she simply thinks it’s time to sit on my lap, she will come back no matter how many times I put her down.
The same holds true in PR. I think one of the biggest mistakes people make is to quit too soon. I know of many companies that have sent out a few news releases and stopped. Evidently they thought they should be on the front page of The Wall Street Journal. When that didn’t happen, they moved on. PR requires consistency and persistency.
I’m sure I have learned more from my cat, which I’ll discuss later. What about you? What have you learned from your cat or other furry critter?