I was once asked by a client “Would it make a difference if we stopped doing PR?”
I’m not sure if it was a serious consideration or just musing out loud. But playing it with a straight bat, I replied that it wouldn’t have a negative impact for a few months, but over a longer time the company would start to lose its elevated position in its marketplace, certainly its industry-wide perception of being an ever-present fixture at the heart of everything.
Other companies would fill the void and have their say. They would set the talking points agenda. They would be asked to pen thought leadership articles. They would be seen as the new leaders.
Whether that put him straight or it was never a serious suggestion in the first place, it never cropped up again. But I still think about it every once in a while.
Why would you want to stop doing something that underpins your credentials as the number one player in your space and has taken many years of work to get you there in the first place?
Sure, there’s an amount of effort in continuing to find new stories and new angles (although that’s really our job) and there’s an expense aspect, but there is with any marketing activity. Most marketers would argue that PR is one of the most cost effective forms of marketing you can do.
But I suppose, like many things in life, you kind of get used to it and lose sight of the real value it brings. We all tend take the things we have for granted (certainly after the novelty for having something new wears off) and tend to yearn for the things we don’t have.
Sometimes, we can even take for granted the people closest to us. Imagine not having them in your life anymore.
Now, that’s not to place PR on a par with your partner or your children, but you get the point.
In business and marketing, it’s always useful to review what you’re doing every so often or to tweak your PR and marketing to reflect changes in your marketplace or the world in general.
But, if that includes taking an extended leave of absence in terms of your visibility, you won’t find people thinking of you more fondly. They’ll just forget about you.
The flowers in picture are forget-me-nots (geddit?)