We all know what happens to the best laid plans of mice and men. But it’s one thing to know that sometimes things do
fail versus making the difficult decision to nix a plan when it’s crumbling around you.
Public relations plans can take many hours and a lot of energy to create. When things go sour, it can become that much more difficult to pull the plug. It’s human psychology. Most people would rather watch a plan you’ve invested hundreds of hours in go down in flames before admitting failure.
But there’s something to be said about knowing your business so well that you can tell when something just isn’t working. Use it as an opportunity to grow your company’s identity.
Let’s say your PR plan is to rebrand as a company that focuses more on customer service rather than a unique product. You’ve noticed sales are stagnating as of late and you hope this will turn things around.
After a few months, sales haven’t really gone anywhere, neither up nor down. Technically this plan hasn’t failed—but it hasn’t really succeeded either. It’s hard to tell.
This is exactly why it’s good to set goals. Without them, you may confuse continued stagnation with progress. However, if your goal was to improve business by 10 percent in the next 3 months, you know your plan isn’t cutting it and it’s time to change.
Don’t let these goals entirely dictate your PR, though. This could backfire and make you so paranoid you pull the plug after a short time. Give plans enough time to gain a natural rhythm or you may miss some great opportunities.
Hitting the reset button
Smartphones you have two reset options: the hard reset and the soft reset. The soft reset reboots the phone after it gets locked up, fixing errors that have appeared. The hard reset is the more permanent solution, resetting everything to factory settings.
Your PR plan has these two options as well. Just because your initial setup isn’t working doesn’t mean the whole thing is kaput. When your phone locks up, it’s usually because one app got stuck. In PR, one aspect (social media, press releases, etc.) could be the issue, and changing it could fix the whole plan.
So before you pull the plug entirely, take a look at the individual parts of your strategy. If you can fix the real issue that’s dragging everything else down, you may only have to do a soft reset to save your business from going back to the drawing board.
Have you ever had to scrap a plan and completely start over?
Mickie Kennedy is the founder of eReleases. A version of this article first appeared on the PR Fuel blog.