Can PR tasks really be completed in ‘minutes a day’?

According to this PR pro, telling people that PR is something that can be knocked out in no time is misleading.

Lately, I’ve seen some posts about how to get PR done in “minutes a day.”

I’m sorry to say it doesn’t work that way.

I don’t want to be the one to burst anyone’s bubble, but it really does take more than the minimum effort. While it’s absolutely true that you can do your own PR (I even give a presentation on it), telling someone it takes just “minutes a day” is misleading. Of course, there are tasks you can do in a few minutes a day, but if you really want to get traction, you need to carve out time. Why? Here are five reasons:

1. It takes research. When was the last time you spent just “minutes” doing research? PR takes knowing who you want to reach and then figuring out the best way to contact them. Oh, and don’t forget knowing what they write about and writing a tailored pitch for each journalist or blogger you contact.

2. It takes writing skills. Yes, lots of people are capable of writing, but I’d venture a guess that many would admit writing is neither their favorite or best skill. Even if you can write, it takes time. You can’t just bap it out in “minutes” and expect to score a reply. Many times, it takes writing and rewriting. If a pitch doesn’t work, you may need to rewrite it yet again, that is, after you’ve spent time brainstorming a fresh approach.

3. It takes planning. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was a strong PR effort. Maybe your goal is to be featured in holiday-related stories. Do you want until Thanksgiving to come up with a pitch and a media list? No. Monthly print publications plan content months in advance, which means you must plan to contact them months in advance of the issue in which you want to appear.

4. It takes follow-up. Sure, you can send out a pitch in “minutes,” but that’s after you’ve written it, researched who you want to send it to and found that reporter’s email address. You send it out. Then do you quit if you don’t hear back right away? If you try to do PR in “minutes a day,” you might. However, you should really be tenacious about following up with that reporter if you want to see results.

5. It takes tenacity. There’s rarely a “one and done” type of activity when you reach out to journalists. You must follow up. Sometimes you have to retool. If you think you’re going to achieve what you’re after in “minutes a day,” it may take many days, and the result may never be what it could’ve been had you invested the time required.

The bottom line is that it takes time. Don’t be fooled by the “PR in minutes a day” hype. Be prepared to invest the time required to achieve the results you want.

Michelle Garrett is a PR consultant and writer at Garrett Public Relations. Follow her on Twitter @PRisUs or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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