The path to your door

We talked to a client a couple of years ago about doing some public relations to let the community know about his very successful company and his role in building it. He adamantly rejected any media outreach. “I have plenty of business. My target audience knows about me. Why should I care if the media or the public in general knows what my company does or who I am?” he said.

But the unfortunate result of this attitude was that, when he needed media coverage last year and again this year to broadcast important news about his company, the media response was tepid at best. They had never heard of him or his business. When they did some coverage, there were mistakes, largely because he had no experience working with the media.

The opportunity was lost because the client had not prepared for the day when the world would beat a path to his door.

A proactive communications strategy anticipates the day when you may have urgent need of positive media coverage. Getting to know the media—and letting them get to know you—builds in a grace period where both parties have time to develop a relationship in an atmosphere of relative calm. You can build a community reputation that will serve your organization well in the future. That way, when you have important news you want to share, you aren’t making cold calls to a reporter who’s never heard of you. Even if the news is negative, you’ll likely receive better treatment if you’ve established good will in the past.

So don’t wait to tell the world about your organization. Get out there and tell your story now. That’s how you build the path to your door instead of having others beat one to it.