Spring is my favorite time of year. The sun is shining, the air is warm, the flowers are blooming, and the vegetables are growing. If you’re like me and you enjoy gardening, then you’ll appreciate the public relations process. You till the garden, sow the seeds, water it regularly, watch it grow, and prepare for harvest. It sounds like an unusual analogy, but when you think about it, it does make sense.

Tilling the garden

This is really the planning and prep stage of a PR campaign. You map out your strategy and lay the groundwork for launch. This involves figuring out the messaging, generating media lists, drafting various pitch angles, setting timelines, gathering product images, and other items that set the campaign up for success.

Sowing the seeds

This is the start of the media outreach process. This is when the publicist carefully distributes tailored pitches to different editors and writers. The pitch message is the seed – “this is why this person/product/service/brand should be included in a piece with your publication.”

Watering it regularly

Much like a garden, if you plant the seeds but then don’t water it, then it might not grow. The PR process requires regular follow up with journalists and writers who have expressed interest in the initial pitch, drafting new pitches and angles to capture the attention of media outlets that didn’t respond to the initial pitch, and an overall general communication and check-in with editors who may be a good fit for the story we’re trying to sell them on.

Watching it grow

Isn’t this the best part? I love seeing my hard work pay off. For public relations, the “blooms” come in the form of media placements, articles, and stories. Anyone who has grown vegetables knows that the results can vary: some are bigger than others and some are more perfectly shaped. Not every media placement is going to be a top-tier home run, but they will all create their own unique impact.

Harvest Time

Now that you’ve secured these beautiful media placements, you have to figure out what to do with them. If you leave your vegetables in the garden, they’ll eventually rot. If you leave your roses on the vine, they’ll never become prize winners. How you leverage your PR features matters. The harvesting stage of a public relations campaign is taking all of the placements secured during the course of the campaign and using them in other ways: bragging about them in social media copy, on your website, in sales collateral, and other ways.

My purpose of this analogy is to hopefully help visualize why PR takes time. You can’t plant a seed into the ground and expect to harvest a beautiful plant the next morning. It takes weeks and months of preparation and work. This guest blog post was provided by Lisa Leigh Kelly at Orca Communications, a PR agency for Inventors and Entrepreneurs. If you need PR for your product brand, contact Lisa via email at Lisa@OrcaPR.com