By Kathryn As I agonize over what to bring to the company potluck next week, I am struck by the similarities between such a meal and today's PR environment. Gone are the days when clients feasted from a set menu at a fixed price. Today's clients can pick and choose from a wide buffet of options, allowing them to customize their programs with ease. In this environment, there are a few rules that are as important to PR planning as they are to potluck preparation: Determine if any of the items are against your dietary restrictions. Are there programs that would be fattening to your budget? Content creation, for example, can be a rich dish unless there is already a wealth of existing material that can do the job. Don't be a hog. As with all meals, make sure you balance your plate with a variety of dishes. If you take a heaping serving of media relations and nothing else, you will miss out on components that could help you reach your goals. Don't be stingy, either. To leave with a full belly, you have to eat, and to meet your company's marketing goals, you have to invest time and effort. Without the proper support from executives, programs rarely achieve their objectives. Contribute to the feast. Your expertise and direction will make the PR program that much more effective. You have to be committed to working with your PR firm – treat it as part of your in-house marketing team. Do you have a PR potluck rule? Add one to the list.
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