We know the importance of good PR but understand that it can be a pretty time-consuming task too, so what happens when you stop putting in the time to your PR? In this article, Rosie Davies-Smith will help to break down what happens when you give up on your PR.
We have a lot of first-hand experience and know that good press takes time. It can be frustrating when there’s a lack of positive responses and we understand the lure of giving up, but we also know what happens when you turn your back on your PR outreach. Below we’re going to go through what happens to your brand relationships and your chances of coverage, week-by-week when you stop actively talking to the press.
You’ve spent months building strong press relationships and making sure that your brand is at the forefront of editor’s minds when they are compiling their latest issues. It is not ideal but honestly, everyone deserves a break once in a while, so one week isn’t the end of the world in terms of your outreach.
Just make sure that, if you are treating yourself to a well-deserved holiday, you have a good out-of-office email set up and you actually do get back to any press emails. Even if it is not a call-in, a quick response to say ‘sorry I missed you’ is always great for keeping an easy flow of communication between yourself and the editor.
Chances of coverage: As long as you are making sure all of your product suggestions are tailored to each editor you are talking to, after one week of no contact, your chances of being featured are decreasing but they are not too damaged.
Two weeks is a long time in the world of the press. We all know how quickly the news we read or watch changes day to day, so don’t expect the shopping or retail spaces of the press to be any different.
After two weeks of not seeing your brand pop-up in their inbox, editors have been flooded with thousands of pitch emails from other brands with great products and you’re no longer their first thought when searching for product to feature. Online and short-lead publications have probably already planned and published a few features that could have worked well for your brand but the lack of contact meant that you just weren’t selected.
Chances of coverage: You are definitely in a worse position than last week and at this point there’s not a lot of chance of an editor going back through your outreach and approaching you but all is not lost.
A whole month? I hate to break it to you but after four weeks of no contact editors have potentially forgotten you and found another brand offering a similar product that they are now building a relationship with.
It sounds harsh, I know but whereas you live and breathe your brand, putting every moment and penny you have into it, the press are spoilt for choice and don’t feel an allegiance to anyone in particular. That is unless you build a genuine and collaborative relationship with them and that takes two things; time and consistency. As much as you want your products featured and loved by editors, it is you that editors first connect with and their connection with you is what will help dramatically improve your chances of securing good press, so make sure you keep the dialogue open and genuine!
Chances of coverage: Unless you had an amazing relationship with an editor before you went cold-turkey on contact and have a pretty spectacular reason for not being in touch, the chances of seeing your products in print or published online are dwindling.
The world of the press is constantly moving so after six weeks the editor that you had spent so much time building a relationship with has potentially moved on or up and is no longer writing the feature that you want to see your products showcased in. That doesn’t mean that you should feel deflated and abandon your relationship with that editor, it just means you may have to tailor your product suggestions a little to suit their new publication.
The moves only get a little tricky when editors move to new publications as their email addresses will change, but if you have a strong relationship, the editor is likely to have kept a comprehensive list of brands and emails that they want to feature and stay in contact with. They might even send you a quick email before leaving to let you know their new contact information, which is always great as it means they believe that your products could work well at their new publication too and is a sign that your relationship could be leading to great things and great coverage.
When one editor leaves, it also means a new editor must take their place. After six weeks, a new editor may have taken over and already established a good connection with brands that they feel would work well. If you haven’t been talking to anyone for six weeks you have lost the upper hand over your competition and you have to build your relationship from scratch with not one, but two editors to get back to where you were.
Chances of coverage: The chances of having a call-in from past outreach or following up on an old lead are now pretty slim and your chances of being featured are definitely slim to none.
Ok so two months of no contact? I don’t know about you but my memory isn’t that great even when I’m not going through endless emails and projects, so how are you expecting that editor that you used to talk to frequently to remember you?
By this point you’re no longer getting any call-ins from your previous outreach because editors can’t recall your specific email and don’t have the time to go back through their heaving inboxes to find that one item from you that might work. They are working to some pretty strict deadlines to make sure issues get to print on time and so are going to select the first relevant pieces they find in their email. Your product may be perfect for their piece and be better than any of the products that are actually being picked but you won’t be selected because it was just too long ago.
Following up on previous leads becomes more and more difficult as time goes on too with people moving on or simply losing interest as new brands draw their attention.
Chances of coverage: Surely you know what this will tell you by now? Not good. Your chances of coverage are not good at all.
If you haven’t spoken to someone in 3 months, can you really still call him or her a contact? I don’t think so.
The basic rule is if you think you might have to reintroduce yourself again, you definitely do and you’ve left it too long to pick up where you left off! Even a cheeky ‘it’s been too long, how are you?’ opener won’t save you after this long. That budding relationship you might have had has gone and you have to start building the relationship all over again.
Chances of coverage: Although we don’t like to give guarantees in PR until we can see products printed on the pages of a magazine or published online, it is safe to say that your chances of being featured are now at 0%.
From that I think you get the point. Your PR is not an area of your business that you can pick up and put down as and when you need to; it needs constant and consistent attention to make sure it works and gives you the results you deserve. If you’re serious about the success of your brand (and you’ve read this far so I’m guessing that you probably are) then this is an area that you simply cannot neglect.
It sounds scary and time-consuming, I get it, having to constantly maintain these relationships but if you follow our last blog post, How to Find Time to PR Your Small Business, then it will make the process a lot less daunting and break it down to fit in alongside your current schedule.
We’d love to know your thoughts on today’s blog post. Connect with Rosie on Instagram @PRDispatch or join in the conversation over in the Facebook Community. If you want to pitch your product to both online and print press, you can become a member of PR Dispatch from just £7 p/m. Use code “sam2019” for one month free when you enrol in full membership.
Rosie is the founder of PR Dispatch, the first PR member’s platform dedicated to supporting independent brands to pitch their products to print and online publications. Rosie created PR Dispatch wanting to give brands with great products that couldn’t justify thousands with a PR agency a chance to be featured by the press. PR Dispatch gives members press contacts, workshops, a community of like-minded brands and support from PR experts for just £59 p/m.