The P in PR is for Patience

patienceI must admit, I sometimes lack patience.  I expect things to work pretty much instantly for me.  When red lights have the nerve to be red, it bothers me, because I want to go.  When my kids don’t do something the first time, it irks me and can set me off.  I could use more patience.

And honestly we all could, especially when it comes to business results.  In business, my clients expect to get media coverage on the launch day — and a ton of it.  They expect the media to shift through the thousands of pitches they receive every day, find theirs and cover it that same day.  And sometimes, miraculously, it does happen.  But much more often, it takes time to develop the relationships and the pieces of the story needed for media coverage.  And it takes time and tenacity to find the right angles to generate ongoing media coverage.

Years ago, I remember traveling from city to city to media outlets on “media tours” and sitting down with journalists to show the latest gizmo I was pitching and pique their interest.  Today, there’s no time for such things on either the client or the journalist’s schedules.  And what’s sometimes missing is the opportunity to get face-to-face and really talk about the story.  These days, we’re lucky to exchange an email about it before it’s old news and we’re on to the next story.

But this is still true — Business relationships take time to cultivate and time to develop. My first story pitch for a company may not land the NY Times, but it may begin a relationship with a NY Times reporter that can lead to multiple stories and valuable insight down the road.  I have to remind myself of the very uncontrollable nature of media relations often, realizing that madness is caused by trying to exact control over something that fundamentally cannot be controlled.

Perhaps that’s why veteran PR pros have to be a little bit crazy to stick with it.  It’s hard and it’s full of rejection.  But when you get it right, man, the results are like nothing else in the marketing universe.

I’m going to try to be more patient and remind myself that nothing great comes quickly or easily.  And that is precisely why those things are great.

And here’s more on How to be Patient from wikihow…

And here’s the great G&R song “Patience” to whistle along with…