How to treat PR like a sales pipeline


This is a metaphor, but an important one I think.

Many companies manage PR in spurts.  They occasionally have news, and they have press lists.  With that news, they spam the press list, make calls, and expect to get coverage.  It’s on the company’s clock, not the reporter’s.  Resulting coverage is random and sparse.

Smarter companies think about PR more like a sales pipeline.  Salespeople, for example, know that most leads, though potentially qualified prospects, aren’t yet ready to buy.  But if you stay in touch with those leads, until they’re ready to buy, you’re more likely to increase your overall sales and territory penetration over time.

Same goes for PR, really.  If you want more coverage, you have to keep talking.  Keep publishing.  Stay in front of the reporters and publications you care about most with valuable information.  Know that most won’t cover you right away, but create value and interest, and more will cover you eventually.

PR today is still more about stories than relationships, but relationship-building in PR is really predicated on creating and fostering a long-term storyline that differentiates you and creates more opportunities within a publication or reporter’s editorial calendar.