Successful public relations is more than the staging of an event, more than issuing a press release, more than orchestrating a company's response to a crisis.
Rather, it is a set of long-term strategies and activities – strategies and activities that must be constantly updated based on benchmarking and changes in the marketplace.
PR strategies almost always are unsuccessful if developed and pursued in response to a short-term event or crisis. Instead, successful PR programs are developed and conducted over a mid- to long-term period, during which companies or organizations can establish stable, open and trusted relationships with opinion-leaders and policymakers during "normal" times, as well as during "crises." The failure rate for start-ups is 85 to 90 percent and one of the common causes of failure is that the leadership views PR as a fix for a crisis. Too many businesses come to PR too late and without enough budget to do it right.
Executives who think about PR strategically and include it in the budget at the front end, have greater success and can avoid getting lost in the crowd.
For example, a start-up cleaning products company, Method, had a business objective to disrupt an established market dominated by big companies like Proctor & Gamble. They invented a sustainable product with attractive packaging and marketed it first to a core audience of environmentally-conscious consumers in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Because PR is a long-term strategy, there are two other essential elements: