By Mike Upon hearing that one of my favorite childhood authors, Brian Jacques of “Redwall” fame, passed away on February 5, I found myself musing on the ways in which great PR is similar to great literature. The following adjectives seem to apply to both successful PR campaigns and well-written literature: Didactic — My 10th grade English teacher, Mr. Leahy (and every instructor since), told me that great literature “teaches and entertains.” The same goes for public relations responsibility. As a PR professional who works with many startups, I run into a lot of, “What's a Twitter?” Part of our job is to educate our clients in the use of social media, just as great literature educates the reader. Creative — The writing that we remember stands out from the crowd; it takes a new and different view on things. Brian Jacques thought that gallantry was disappearing from today's society, so he portrayed it in the quests of mice and shrews in the “Redwall ” series. Not your typical approach to chivalry. The same is true in PR. You want to stand out from all of your competitors by taking an innovative approach and getting stronger results. Impressions are made by creativity; being content with “the usual PR tactic” leads to mundane outcomes. Readability — With great literature, every time you read it, you find something new and worthwhile. Novels written a hundred years ago are still around because each reader can relate to them differently. Every time through, a reader catches a symbol or commentary previously missed, which unfolds a whole new layer of meaning. The same must apply to PR. A successful PR approach is personal and versatile and has longevity. Good PR consistently yields results every time you turn to it. So next time you pick up Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallowsfor the fourth time, think about why you keep reading it. If your PR campaign were a book, would it be worth re-reading?
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