Don’t Count Your PR Campaign Before It Hatches

You’ve concocted the most elaborate and ingenious PR plan ever created. It’s so perfect you’ve shot down multiple ideas for a backup plan. Each one of your customers is going to feel like they’re individually the most important person in the world; likewise, new recruits will feel like they’re entering into a secret community, one that values everybody equally. Nothing could go wrong.

However, shortly after the launch, something DOES go wrong. That one little problem causes a chain reaction that spreads across the entire campaign. Soon you and your team are scrambling about trying to pick up the pieces before it’s too late.

What happened? Many things could be the root cause. However, it may boil down to one thing: you counted your PR campaign as a success before it truly hatched.

Everything Can Go Wrong

Public relations campaigns can be fragile things. It’s important to remember that you’re dealing with humans, who are extremely dependent on emotions and irrationality. There’s no way to tell if something will go correctly in this field until it actually does!

With that in mind, there’s no reason to believe any PR plan is “perfect.” There are literally thousands of reasons a campaign could flounder at any minute. So why would you count on it to succeed before it ever gets going?

I’m definitely not saying you shouldn’t plan. Planning is essential to a campaign and it should be done as much as possible. But you should also “plan” to be adaptable. If you don’t, and things go awry, you’ll just have to go down with the ship. A flexible campaign is one that can survive during the roughest of times.

Egg Stage

While your public relations campaign is still in its egg stage, check to see if you’re treating it too delicately. If the whole thing seems like it would squash with just the slightest of touches, it may be time to go back to the drawing board.

In the above scenario, the “perfect plan” had no backup plan. But as soon as something went wrong you would regret that decision. What will you do when there’s a crack in the shell and your plan starts oozing all over the kitchen counter?

When J. Michael Straczynski was creating and writing Babylon 5, he deliberately put “trapdoors” in the story. This was in the event that if an actor had to leave for whatever reason they wouldn’t be stuck wondering what to do. It was the ultimate plan to prevent wild story issues or continuity problems.

Try to emulate this for your PR campaign. When something starts to go wrong, you should go “Aha, I know what to do!” and not futilely try to keep the basket of eggs ready for frying after everything’s already fallen out.

Do you have a backup plan for your PR campaigns?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of the Beginner’s Guide to Writing Powerful Press Releases here:

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