How to create a wave of communication

Dropping the occasional press release can cause a big, noticeable splash. Which is great, but a waste if you let the ripples just fade away. It takes most people less than a week to forget about you, so don’t pat yourself on the back for your 15 minutes of fame too quickly. Here is how to create an ongoing wave of earned, paid and owned media.

This article is an excerpt from pr.co’s book Purpose: First Principles of Effective PR. This is article #11 in a series of 12 articles. To start at the first chapter, click here.


Dropping the occasional press release can cause a big, noticeable splash. Which is great, but a waste if you let the ripples just fade away. It takes most people less than a week to forget about you, so don’t pat yourself on the back for your 15 minutes of fame too quickly.


To stay top of mind, you need to make sure people keep hearing about your company. You want to create an ongoing wave of earned, paid and owned media. Pirate PR is all about being conscious of your communication efforts in order to create a stable yet flexible media presence. Compare it to your pulse: it usually has a steady, steady rhythm, sometimes it speeds up, and sometimes its pace is really, really slow.


Your PR war room is the beating heart of your communication efforts. It reacts to expectations and needs, yet can be relied onto keep your public image alive and breathing. It adapts to the situation, does crisis management when needed and can even slow down at times.


Strong but steady

The steady beat of your campaigns ensures that your audience knows what to expect, and when to expect it. Whether it’s a daily tweet, a weekly newsletter, a monthly investor update or company blogpost – you need to keep your followers up to date on a regular basis.


It may sound boring, but it’s actually one of the most fun parts of the job. If you want to maintain a steady pace of interesting content that resonates, you need to be smart about it. Get into the nitty- gritty of your business. Make the boring shit interesting, and watch your fan base slowly grow.


Speeding up

Sometimes you have to up your game and put in some extra effort in addition to your regular messages, like during a seasonal occasion or a big news event. You see brands compete during something massively flashy like the Super Bowl, but it matters how you handle every company event.


During crises or big events, your timing and responses matter. It’s when you need to crack down and either rock the Twittersphere or do damage control. Man a control room with your colleagues and make sure you get the best out of the situation.


Slowing down

After all that steady going and speeding up, sometimes the world seems to go into slumber mode. Taking it slow can be useful during these times; it’s kind of useless to continue sending information into a world that’s not even listening.


This doesn’t mean you should stop communicating altogether, like the European newspaper Metro, which takes a break during the summer holidays. It might work for them, but unless you’re a newspaper, you may want to steer clear from such radical tactics. You can take a step back and give yourself a break every once in a while, but don’t go dark for too long.


How to keep it up

If you’re stumped for what to do, you only have to look around for help. There are tons of blogs and tools that will give you the inspiration you need. Just resolve to send that newsletter every week, do everything you can to get that biweekly podcast online or write that quarterly trend report for journalists. Don’t allow the heart to stop beating, because you’ll sink into the dark recesses of people’s memories in no time. The expectation pattern you worked so hard to build will disappear in an instant.


So whatever you do, don’t limit your communication to the occasional press release. Instead, look to create campaigns that consistently put your message out there so that your target audiences can start to ride the rhythm of your communication wave.