WHAT PR AND VACATIONS HAVE IN COMMON
Does the cold winter weather have you dreaming of getting away?
As a girl growing up in North Dakota, where the average high winter temperature is a balmy one degree, there was always one thing I looked forward to this time of year—a tropical vacation.
And, even if I now spend my winters happily enjoying the warmer weather California and Texas have to offer, I think we can all agree a sunny vacay is a great way to say goodbye to the snow and cold.
Unless you’re a big fan of not being able to feel your fingers and toes?
Before you let the polar vortex get you down, let me help you feel the sun on your face and salty air in your hair with five PR lessons you can learn from a warm weather vacation.
Have a plan
Only a rookie heads out on vacation unprepared without the proper gear and supplies.
Most importantly is sunblock.
Sunblock may be a pain to remember to apply, especially when you have sand covering ever part of your body, but it beats the alternative—a painful sunburn!
PR should be approached the same way.
Having a plan and being prepared with the right tools before you start promoting your brand is crucial.
No matter how painful you fear the planning process may be.
Not only will preparing a PR plan serve as a guide for what you should do next, but the plan also will help steer you back towards your goals should your communications efforts go off course.
Don’t sweat it
When you’re traveling to a tropical destination, it’s important to remember not to sweat the small stuff.
Chill! You’re on vacation, remember?
It’s not worth freaking out over the fact that your husband will forget his passport on the kitchen counter, that TSA will be an hours-long wait, or that someone will eventually end up over-served and sunburned.
That’s just the way the beach ball bounces.
Things don’t always go as planned, which also can be said about PR.
Proactively pitching and promoting your brand can lead to the media pushing back your coverage, seeing others get attention before you do, embarrassing typos, or having a reporter butcher your key messages.
The key is to take a deep breath (or 20) and remember what your goal is—to get more attention and sales for your business.
Sure, there may be missteps. But turn them into lessons.
Because even the tiniest baby steps are ones that move you forward.
Speak the language
Nothing is more frustrating than needing something and not knowing how to properly communicate what that something is with others.
Like when you’re in a hurry to find the bathroom, but you keep mistakenly asking for directions to the nearest library.
That’s why it’s important to always speak the language wherever you go.
The same goes for PR.
You wouldn’t want to head to a foreign country and not know a few key words and phrases, would you?
You also wouldn’t want to draft your key messages, website copy, and promotional materials using jargon your target audience doesn’t understand.
What good is that going to do?
When trying to gain brand recognition and more revenue, it’s extremely important to speak the language.
Especially when you’re talking dinero.
Know your role
Whether we want to admit it or not, everyone has their role on vacation.
There’s the overprotective, sunblock-ready mom. The eager to get out and hit the waves surfer. Someone in the group is always the up for an adventure adventurer.
There also is the party animal, early riser, and child who cannot be pried away from their screen screamer.
And then there’s me: The lay on my lounge chair with a few good books and lots of day drinking diva.
Unlike the pool bartender, who is more than happy to consistently keep a cold Miami Vice in my hand, the same can’t be said about your approach to PR.
You can’t expect to launch a new product or offering and have the media and customers knocking down your door with excitement.
If you launch it, customers will come.
But only if you tell them, over and over again, about what you’ve launched and why it benefits them.
No matter what it appears your competition or some random guru on Instagram tells you.
You can’t just throw up an announcement and expect the masses to hand you all their money.
Instead, you have to plan, publicize, and promote your brand.
Then you can lay back and toast your success with a cold drink.
Be true to you
Vacations near bodies of water typically require wearing swimsuits.
And wearing a swimsuit takes a lot of self-confidence—whether you’re rocking a one piece, bikini, or banana hammock.
The same need for confidence applies to your PR outreach.
Don’t be intimidated by other brands or competitors who may have bigger budgets or PR teams than you.
You know who they are, the ones that always seem to be doing #allthethings.
They aren’t you, they don’t have your goals, and spending time worrying about others takes energy away from you doing what is best for you.
I have clients who are one-woman shops who have appeared on The Today Show and in Good Housekeeping without any PR budgets or teams to speak of—just using the advice found on this blog and through my services.
One even had a media pitch buoyed with faked confidence and a $10 Facebook ad that resulted in 33,000 orders in 24 hours!
With PR, it doesn’t matter how big your business or budget is. It only matters that you put in effort and stick with it.
We all start somewhere.
Not sure where to start? I have an amazing library of resources right here on the blog and a variety of helpful tools in my shop that can help.
Are you ready to have a promotional strategy in place that makes doing your own PR feel like a tropical vacation?