Persistence Indeed Pays in PR

As a 25+ year public relations professional, you can be sure I’ve learned MANY lessons over the years. So many that they are deeply submerged within my workbrain. Many of these lessons are commonly known among my peers. However, a wise business strategist reminded me that these lessons, or PR truths, are far less understood by those who aren’t in the field. So, I present the first in a series of “Lessons Learned” which could boost your efforts in PR or most anything in life: Perseverance Pays..

KUT radio presents a monthly campaign celebrating local nonprofits called “Get Involved.” The station puts a spotlight on a diverse range of our community’s wonderful nonprofits. One nonprofit per month receives daily 120-second public service announcements which include interviews with representatives and volunteers. There are “only” more than 5,000 nonprofit organizations in Central Texas from which to choose. Odds of getting on the segment are slim to say the least. Only 12 nonprofits per year win this invaluable time in the limelight before a highly-engaged and powerful audience. Breakaway was determined to place the blood bank of Central Texas and our client-partner, We Are Blood, in this spotlight.

Most people happily volunteer or donate to programs benefiting children, diseases, environment, hunger relief, animal welfare, civic issues, but often forget a very basic and oh-so-vital donation – blood. We all have it and one in seven people entering a hospital will need it infused. It could be a family member, friend or you.

We began the pitch process with the segment’s producer at KUT in April of this year. After two months we then expanded the effort with the segment’s nonprofit partner, I Live Here I Give Here (ILHIGH). ILHIGH is an important local nonprofit that works to amplify the giving habits of the Greater Austin community on behalf of our thousands of nonprofits.

I gently nudged the radio producer on more or less a monthly basis. I also regularly touched base with the point person at ILHIGH starting in June. To make a long story short, I shifted my plea to include the station’s program manager in October. Within a few weeks, we learned that WRB was selected as the December nonprofit for “Get Involved.” Joy and happiness and visions of consistently-filled blood donor chairs filled our heads.

It took seven months to break through. Eight months by the time this campaign hits the airwaves and KUT’s website. Retail value: approximately $7,000. We knew this nonprofit was more than worthy of the spotlight and owns a unique, life-saving, place in our community. Breakaway also leaned harder as we approached one of WRB’s most challenging times of the year — the holidays — when people tend to travel and fewer mobile drives are organized.

Persevere. Unless you get a solid “no,” never give up when you know you have a good fit. Now, go donate blood at!