One other observation I have is that mainstream media is very much playing in the echo chamber, much more than new media. With fewer and fewer exceptions, many publications play up the same story.
Fewer publications covering a handful of stories and trends are also putting your media-focused PR activities in danger of extinction.
Organizations adopting emerging technologies are on a steep learning curve, not sure about which technologies will have lasting power.
By their very definition, emerging media and tools are here today and may or may not be here in the present form tomorrow.
Going from fixed process
However, you do need to have processes in place to bring stories to market, regardless of the media.
Whether you're on the client or the agency side, you know that one press release, one interview, article, case study, any piece of content you're able to launch goes through multiple layers of approvals.
It's a reality of organized time. A reality that is clashing with the tremendous speed you need to have to participate in the evolving knowledge and information flow -- and take your slice of the conversation for top of mind consideration and relationship building. They both help you with credibility and trust.
Building awareness today is more akin to constantly moving with customers and prospects along a buying decision journey. Being top of mind with influentials means engaging in a relationship that is super helpful to them and the communities they play a role in influencing.To adaptive process-thinking
Instead, I found that a helpful way of looking at process is by having a business strategy as core, and organizing around checklists to execute on moving the needle in any one direction on your goals. [hat tip Julie Starr] Checklists are a way to stay on track and to think through a process without hardening around "this is the way we do things here" too much.
Which is what will help you uncover new ways of achieving your goals. Checklists are also a great way to think as a team. By the very nature of capturing a list of items to consider, checklists leave enough room to improvise where necessary, expand, extend, and contract a program -- along a continuum.How to use a checklist to do better PR
Here are some thoughts on how to keep yourself on track for PR activities, but you could as well use the same kind of thinking for many other processes.
- what's the main story?
- does the content map to the business intent?
- have you utilized the insights and research available to you in the course of writing?
- how is this piece fitting in the content toolkit you're making available to customers?
- have you compared notes with all sources?
- how is the piece fitting to the editorial calendar of the people in your outreach program?
- is your language approachable? Have you taken the opportunity to simplify/educate?
- do you have the right people/quotes in the piece, and is everyone's name spelled correctly?
These are just some ideas on how you could progress. A checklist can be helpful to communicate with all stakeholders about the purpose of the piece, and a way to set expectations of what it needs to include to achieve its intended goal successfully.
Do you use checklists to guide your thinking when it comes to the PR process? Will you try one to see how it goes?
© 2010 Valeria Maltoni. All rights reserved.