Consider this scenario: Your client's product or service is working for customers, but the publicity campaign that the client originally showed enthusiasm for isn't moving as it should.
Because PR pros execute campaigns with their clients—not apart from them, as with some other promotional forms—it can be especially frustrating when client contacts or management team aren't responding to you or aren't engaged in your campaign.
Public relations is a management function. However, when you're consistently facing problems like these, they can throw your program off track and prevent the successes you know are possible:
- Your vice-president of marketing is always on the road and won't answer your questions.
- The CEO, who said he would be interested in and available for interviews, is a no-show.
- The product manager who requested a news release takes weeks, not days, to get back to you with copy approval.
So, how can you get the team to move more rapidly? The goal is to take advantage of the opportunities you've researched that will move the needle for brand awareness and demand. Few outside PR realize how rapidly publicity action occurs, or how many tactics might be in play simultaneously.
Short of quitting your job—or the client—here are some ideas for helping you create and maintain that essential program momentum and team responsiveness.
1. Remind them they're essential to overall campaign success
Neither the market nor your industry is likely interested in hearing from a PR pro. Both want engagement and commentary from those running a business—and from experts and others with the appropriate credentials.
Let your execs and others who are essential to the program know that they're needed, that you want their participation, and that you'll be asking for it regularly. Short of flattery, make them aware of the importance of the time they spend on public relations work. Whether as a background source, content expert, author, speaker, interviewee, or blogger—your team members must be brought into the process with the knowledge that they are needed to make the campaign work. You can't do it alone. Those with market, technology, product, and business knowledge must be participants, and they must know that they have skin in the game.