Is something broken when it won't stop working?
My washing machine is broken. It washes, it drains, it spins and the clothes come out clean. So what's the problem? It takes far too long to do it!
No-one wants a rushed job, 'rushed' implying that the quality won't be as goodUntil recently, my washing machine had various cycle options, including the so-called 'quick wash' (which took the best part of an hour), the 'normal wash' (over two hours) and the 'if you've got nothing else to do with your life wash'. Now my 'quick wash' takes so long I have to do an emergency 'stop and drain' if I want to keep my sanity. But what has all of this got to do with PR?
It happens to be a pretty good example of something doing the job expected of it but simply taking far too long to do it. In PR terms that could mean missing the news value in a story, sacrificing other work and/or over-servicing to the point where you start to lose money.
No-one wants a rushed job, 'rushed' implying that the quality won't be as good, but equally when the builders say they'll be "finished by Christmas" you do expect Christmas to be the one within the calendar year you're currently in.
...we're not in the business of painting the Sistine Chapel. The lifespan of much of what we produce is so short that there has to be a realistic approach to how long we're prepared to spendI don't remember anyone ever telling me how long I should take to write a press release but I can't help thinking that the two days I spent on my first (over 25 years ago) was a tad on the long side. One boss of mine used to talk about 'commercial reality'. He recognised that while PR and advertising did involve a great deal of creative thinking, we're not in the business of painting the Sistine Chapel. The lifespan of much of what we produce is so short that there has to be a realistic approach to how long we're prepared to spend (and how much a client is prepared to pay) on any one job.
Whether it's time management, client handling or internal negotiation you need to improve upon, something is wrong if you can't remember the last time you left the office before dark. We all have manic periods when we have to burn the midnight oil, we all take on jobs thinking they're relatively simple only to find that we've seriously underestimated how long they're going to take, and we've all over-serviced a new client when trying to impress them with our talents. But in the agency world, we sell time. And if we're giving too much of it away for free, it's not only bad for business, it's bad for our physical and mental health.
In the agency world, we sell time. And if we're giving too much of it away for free, it's not only bad for business, it's bad for our physical and mental healthThere are many reasons why people work long hours. Poor time management, too eager to please, lack of confidence and not wanting to be seen to be slacking are a few of the common ones. But sometimes the problem is more deep-seated and the company simply takes on or delivers too much work for the number of people being paid to do it. Whatever the reason, we can help you work out what the underlying problems are and develop the programme to address them.
Now, I must go and check if that wash I put on yesterday has reached the spin cycle yet.
© Lorraine Forrest-Turner forrest-turner.co.uk