Michelle Han October 20, 2015 | 04:00:05

How PR Campaigns Are Like Marathon Training

It’s marathon season here in the Northeast, and a New York PR agency can’t help but think about how practicing media and public relations can be like training for a marathon. As a multiple marathon finisher and a lifelong runner, I’ve seen firsthand how simple steps pay off on race day, while also translating into vivid lessons in other areas of life.
Here are some essential things to keep in mind for success in both PR campaigns and marathon training.

Take the long view. Any runner attempting to finish 26.2 miles needs to keep the long view in mind. So it is with PR. For sure, a PR program will have its share of quick wins, but more often than not it’s a long term effort building brand awareness, share of voice, and search engine optimization via content marketing — whether the focus is B2B or B2C, travel, finance or technology PR. In media relations, developing relationships with journalists is key to successful placements, but it takes time.

Follow a robust, healthy diet. Any athlete in training will tell you how much of a difference a diet packed with nutrients and healthy proteins makes. Likewise, good PR practitioners need a robust diet of knowledge and wisdom, fed through different channels and social media platforms. The way businesses and consumers are absorbing news couldn’t be more dynamic today, and PR pros should understand and consume both high brow” and “low brow” types, the video and the written article or blog post, the long form as well as the listicle. For more on what outlets every PR pro should read regularly, check out our previous post on the subject.

Stay strong. The well-rounded marathoner knows running isn’t the only part of physical training. Regular core strength and upper body workouts are key to improving running posture, balance, and efficiency. (Just ask Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer, who buffed up for her role in The Hunger Games by running the London marathon, and is running this November’s New York City marathon). In public relations, adding skills and knowledge from other industries serve to strengthen the work you do in PR. For example, companies investing in PR are often in growth mode, which means the company is going through significant changes. A strong understanding of business development, marketing, and even organizational development can strengthen one’s value to clients.

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