This article originally ran on PR Daily in March, 2015. “We’ve done so much, with so little, for so long, we can do anything with nothing.”
It’s a maxim, borrowed from the Marines, that fits neatly within the daily grind of public relations, because although it’s the last function to get a line item on a budget, PR is the first to get a call when things start heading south.
Here’s a look behind the scenes at four unglamorous PR duties:
1. Securing approval for press releases.
Throughout my career I’ve marveled that it takes three times as long to get a press release approved as it does to write a first draft. The machinations these things go through would be comical, if it weren’t for the reality. People, often highly educated and well-intended people, are willingly to either wage a virtual war over trivialities or to simply be unresponsive.
My secret for managing this: Take that “edited” press release—all that mediocre prose stuffed with excessive adjectives and laced with industry jargon that last raged in 1999—and set it aside. Here’s what you do next: Use your first draft as your pitch.
2. “I didn’t know who to send this to.”