PR and the art of making your own luck


“The harder I work, the luckier I get”, Sam Goldwyn famously remarked, and if ever an epigram reflected the reality of PR, this is surely it.

The truth of public and media relations is that within your target area, every avenue should be sweated, evaluated and explored, and (where appropriate) contacted. When my media contact master list is being compiled, my inclination is always to spread my net wide; to include, rather than exclude, and leave it to the writer in question to cover or not cover the subject matter. Sometimes, there is no neat fit anyway, and you might identify some good writers you wish to include who may or may not be exactly right for you. And sometimes, it is just these writers that spring a mini jackpot for your client in terms of exposure.

I remember coming across a blogger who I thought might have an interest in a technology concept video I was promoting, so I popped off an email, and thought not too much more about it. A day or so later, I noticed the viewing figures for the video begin to rise and then soar into the thousands. Clearly my email had come good, but even so I was still slightly surprised by the volume. So I drilled down a bit, and discovered a lot of coverage seemed to be coming from the New York Times technology page. Further exploration revealed that my blogger also had space on the NYTimes website’s technology page, and a link to my video was sitting right beside news of the following day’s iPhone launch.

“Wow, of all the luck…” said the client, and to be fair there was a sizeable dollop of good fortune in there certainly. But sifting through the internet to find the blog guy, getting his contact details and making the case to have him write it up, that also had a bit to do with it.

In tech PR, you make your own luck.

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