My front lawn needs a lot of work.
It looks passable to the neighbors who fly around the corner in their SUVs and barely give it a second look.
But, to me, it’s the scourge of the neighborhood.
If I look at it from my second-floor bedroom window, the bare spots and green-that-is-not-that-green grass are blatantly obvious.
So, as fall comes around and the temps begin to drop (that will happen eventually), I am committed to making my lawn nicer in preparation for next spring and summer.
That means taking care of the grass already there and planning to have more sprout up next year.
I’ve begun to fertilize on a regular basis, and over-seeded the bare spots so green grass fills the brown and I have a somewhat passable lawn.
From there, I’ll have to put in the work to keep it from falling into disarray again, but I’m pretty confident I can make it better if I pay attention and work upkeep into my schedule.
It’s a process, but it’s a process that will yield visible results.
As I thought about how much work it would take to bring my lawn back to life, I couldn’t help but think that, like a lot of projects we undertake, the work of the public relations professional rests on a consistent drumbeat of activity that pays dividends down the road, but not immediately.
You know, like my lawn.
There are a lot of services that promise immediate results if you pay them enough money. But those results don’t amount to much, other than being picked up by websites that already pick up every release that crosses the wire.
The mark of a true public relations professional lies in their ability to land meaningful coverage for a client; coverage that is born out of consistent and diligent hard work, made possible through regular discussions with the right media, and a knack for finding stories that the general public will care about.
There is a time and place for posting a press release on the wire, but don’t confuse those high numbers with actually moving the needle.
Just like you can’t lay down grass seed and expect blades of grass to pop up overnight, you can’t expect the front page of the New York Times after your first company announcement.
It takes work.
If you take the time to lay out future announcements into a cohesive editorial calendar, and sprinkle in elements of the company story through owned media, you can begin to tell the right story and bring customers and consumers on board.
That steady cadence will do more for your success than a press release blast ever will.
Think of your sod as the story of your company.
That story will shrivel up and die if you send it out into the world and forget about it.
But if you are consistent and smart with how you care for it, the narrative will grow over time, and you’ll find journalists are more interested in what you have to say because you’ve built up the background story over time.
Like I said, if you want your company to be truly revered and looked at as meaningful, you need to nurture it at all times. Don’t ignore it.
Like a good, strong lawn, a company’s story is only as good as the people who care for it.
That’s the value of public relations.