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PR Results? Yes! Overnight? Not so fast…

Whether you’re looking to land your dream job, or your dream mate, sometimes, the best things in life can take time. The same can be true when it comes to securing national press coverage. If you’re looking to use the power of PR to land some high-profile coverage, then keep this in mind:

Results don’t happen overnight. Sure if you’re Microsoft announcing you’re releasing a version of Office for the iPad (let’s hope!) you’ll get instant results. And lots of them. But unless it’s really hot news or time sensitive you need to learn to be patient. And if you want coverage in national monthly magazines, be prepared to wait up to a year and sometimes longer.

Let me share a recent client example. The results didn’t happen over-night (more like 365 nights) but the national press coverage was well worth the wait.

I pitched a story to a journalist on May 3, 2011 and the interview happened shortly thereafter. The story finally ran on February 1 2012 in the Huffington Post. It also later ran on the home page of AOL. Not just any old story – it was a wonderfully written 1,000+ word profile of the business along with a gorgeous 28 picture slide show. Read it here.  Fabulous exposure for the company. In fact their website hits were up more than 70% immediately following the story.  And shortly after the story ran, they were told that the article had received 312,000 hits.

Do the math. It ran almost 9 months to the day after I first pitched it.  Worth waiting for?  Absolutely.  Instant gratification?  Absolutely not.

Lest you think this is an isolated case, here’s another example. I pitched the Wall Street Journal on May 9, 2011. I heard back right away from the News Editor. Which in and of itself is pretty amazing. Here’s what he said in part:

“We would be happy to add Ms. Gelb to our list of possible profiles. That said, please know that we have heard from hundreds of readers. We are trying to work our way through the pile as quickly as possible – but it’s going to take some time.”

The ‘back in touch’ happened six months later, on December 21. The interview took place between Christmas and New Year. The profile is scheduled to run April 19. (Wahoo!) It might be a daily newspaper but it will be almost exactly a year from pitching to print.

So an online news site and a daily newspaper took 9-12 months for an article placement. That would also be a typical timeline for long-lead (i.e. monthly print) publications.

 So the lesson here…. Don’t hire a PR firm for three months, or even six, task them with getting national press, and expect to get instant results. Create a long-term relationship and work with your firm. Effective PR requires a lot of things, not the least of which is a big dose of patience!

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Filed under: News, Public relations