I’ll admit, I’ve never been one for gambling, yet I can fully see its allure to others. There is something appealing about rolling a winning pair of dice, turning over a winning hand, or pulling down on the arm of a winning slot machine. Heck, even I wholeheartedly enjoy simply walking the floors of a casino and seeing all the excitement unfold. So why is it than that I don’t share in that excitement? Is it because I am not a risk taker? No, that can’t be it. Because as PR professionals, do we not take chances every day? Each time we go after a story and take all the necessary steps to land our clients in these stories, that is essentially what we are doing. Sure, PR is about relationships and utilizing those relationships for the better of our clients, but is there ever an element of pure luck and timing involved with our strategies? I wonder.
Recently, after months of pitching a long-lead story, an opportunity presented itself for one of our clients to be included in a national morning television show segment. As with any great hit, there was such a rush of excitement involved in the events leading up to the airdate. We dutifully prepped the reporter through email exchanges and conference calls, and continuously updated our client on the logistics surrounding the coverage. The pieces were in place. All that was left to do was to wait.
Only a few short days before the piece was scheduled to run, however, we received word that the portion of the segment that would include our client had unfortunately been cut. There was nothing that could have been done differently on our part to change this outcome. These things just happen and in cases that involve broadcast, they can happen at a moment’s notice. Next week’s “Balloon Boy” or an out-of-control Prius hoax could wreak havoc on what should be a shining day for one of your clients.
Times like this though can quickly remind us that no matter how great our efforts, nothing is ever guaranteed. As PR professionals we will forever be at the mercy of the ever changing news cycle, but it is our responsibility to keep taking chances and do everything in our power to make the next big hit happen.