The news vs old
To a public relations professional it might seem obvious that other people know how time sensitive PR is. Public relations often equals media relations. The media environment changes very quickly and the news you read in the paper yesterday aren’t news today – they instantly become old.
Remember the News of the World scandal? It happened so recently and was such a huge issue; we talked about it for about a week, maybe two. But now no one actually thinks about it any more. There’s hardly any visible coverage of it now. It’s become the old news.
Public relations has to respond to news and to different issues (which influence and inspire news) instantly. Otherwise it might mean lost opportunities. I work in-house, which means that I probably have a little bit more flexibility in my time management than people who work in PR agencies (I might be wrong, I’m honestly only guessing, as I’ve never worked for an agency). Still, it gets on my nerves when people who work with me or around me don’t understand the importance of timeliness in public relations profession.
It might be just my short-tempered nature, it might be the fact that I expect things to be done on time when hands were shook in an agreement, it might be that I like when people who work on a project pay attention to details – this all might be adding to my frustration when things are not done when I need them.
Hold that impatient temper - take time to explain
Yet, it’s important to realise that we all tend to forget that what we do and how we work might not be as obvious and understandable to other people, especially if their jobs have little in common with the timely media environment.
That’s why it’s good to stop for a moment, look around and consider those, who might not be aware of the time sensitiveness of PR. Don’t be surprised. Many people actually don’t understand how public relations work. And if you take time to explain how important some of their activities are for timeliness of your projects (hence opportunities well used, and threats successfully taken care of), they might actually consider it and surprise you with sharp and almost immediate response to your requests.