June 15, 2016
/ by Susan Guillory
I have two cats and a dog, so I spend more time than I’d like to admit watching them. It’s better than Netflix.
There are, of course, certain characteristics each species exemplifies. Cats are, by default, less interested in the world around them (or at least seem to be). Dogs clamour for love and attention. This got me thinking about public relations (Didn’t you make the connection there? No? Guess it’s just me).
We can compare dogs, those desperate attention-seekers, to the folks that misuse PR. They’re the ones that send a pitch and 10 minutes later, call the journalist to make sure she received the email. They’re the ones that publish a press release every week, whether or not they even have newsworthy things to share.
Dogs are, in a sense, the ones who have ruined PR for the rest of us. Don’t be a dog.
Cats are a better role model for getting media attention. Who doesn’t love a cat, even if it doesn’t come when called or stay put when you put it in the very expensive cat tower you bought for it (erm, that’s my issue, not yours)?
Cats, just by being themselves, get our attention. Your brand could learn a lot from a cat.
Cats are strategic. I used to have one who would lay next to me while I was eating, looking around like he couldn’t care less that I was eating a plate of delicious swordfish. Then he’d stretch lackadaisically, and then “accidentally” land his paw right in my fish. Snag. Paw to mouth. That’s a smart cat.
If you’re strategic, you can get media coverage. But you’ve got to be stealthy like Edgar the Fish-Stealing Cat, not like Desperate Dingo the Dog. That means you have to spend time building relationships with the media, not pelting them with unwanted press pitches. You have to attend events and get to know those journalists.
It can be frustrating, but you have to do nothing and act like you need nothing from them until they trust you. You can even be useful to them by connecting them with other resources. Become invaluable like a cat and those journalists will want to pet you (er, write about you).
Look at your PR efforts now. Are you acting more like a dog or a cat? If you’re not getting results, my bet is you’re being a dog. Remove the desperation and put more effort into being strategic, and you’ll get what you want.
Images via Pixabay: 1, 2
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