Seth Godin has a gifted ability to get people thinking about complex subjects by writing only a few lines. One of his recent posts, The reason social media is so difficult for most organizations, is a case in point. It reads:
It’s a process, not an event.
Dating is a process. So is losing weight, being a public company and building a brand.
On the other hand, putting up a trade show booth is an event. So are going public and having surgery.
Events are easier to manage, pay for and get excited about. Processes build results for the long haul.
It’s not just social media
Public relations, in general, is a process that needs time to demonstrate deep results. As Seth’s comments point out, relationships are about process. Generally, when process is involved, time is necessary.
It’s not just about tactics. A new website, sending out a media release, starting a blog or internal newsletter; these are all tactics. Unless they are part of a unified strategy that involves cultivating relationships with stakeholders, you won’t see results. If you lose momentum and ignore your strategy, you won’t see results. You need to know that results won’t happen overnight or through random, intermittent bursts of activity.
Successful public relations is about having a plan and having the discipline to stick to it over time. If you’re in it for the big spark rather than the gradual, sustaining heat of the fire, you’re going to be disappointed.
As I won’t be posting again until after the yuletide season, I want to wish all my blog readers all the best for 2010. Happy Holidays!