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PR Grasshoppers, Embrace the Zen of Repetition

I’ve picked up a guitar again after a couple decades (okay, three) of utter neglect. That means I’m spending virtually all my time on the basics. Open chords, scales, strum patterns. For the most part, it’s constant repetition designed to kick muscle memory into gear. The more I repeat, the faster, better and more effortless the output.

Which brings me to a pet peeve: the expectation of results without investment of time and resources. The very nature of social media has certainly been one of the culprits. Build your microsite, blog, tweet or slap up a video and they will come, right? Well, if you’re the lucky dog who happens to catch a viral wave at the right time, yeah, that might actually be true. For the other 99.99% whose name isn’t Psy, Bieber or Ken Block, the Field of Dreams approach will fail. Steer clear of promises to the contrary.

As public relations professionals, we’re constantly pressured to find the quick fix. Too many of us aren’t willing to counsel clients that the care and feeding of a media initiative or digital asset must continue long after launch. Instead, we accept projects that clearly don’t have enough time or funding built in. Are we fearful of being labeled “old-style” when we preach the zen of repetition? Are we all about grabbing the revenue before another agency does? Are we afraid to measure results over time?

There’ll always be that irresistible opportunity to plug a client’s message into a news cycle or pop culture moment. Do it, and enjoy the instant rush. Then get back to the basics and repeat, refine, repeat.

Photo courtesy of visualpanic

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