Follow-Through: Tried + True PR Tactic

Follow-through is important in all walks of life – personal and business.  I wanted to share a story about how one company followed through on its commitment to PR News. We held our How-To Conference on Dec 1 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, and our closing keynote speaker, Michelle Russo, svp of communications at Discovery Communications, contacted us with the news that her train from NY to DC was not going to make it.  Power lines were down along the Amtrak northeast corridor. There was that short panic attack among our staff — but not for long. Michelle secured her replacement right away so as not to leave us hanging. Kristen Mainzer, vp of internal communications, filled in for her as the closing keynote, and what was also striking is that she took Michelle’s presentation about proving the value of PR and was able to present the content without hesitation or unease.  She hardly looked down at her notes. She was clearly on the same page as her colleague in terms of how Discovery leverages PR internally and externally for this worldwide brand. I should note that every speaker, as with nearly every event we hold, showed up and did an admirable job. So they followed through, too, on their commitment to us. But with two hours to go before a keynote, we were doubly impressed with Michelle’s proactive approach. Business 101 will tell you that you should never present a problem without offering a solution. The one-second problem we faced at our event was solved due to great work by a PR team. Thank you, Discovery!

— Diane Schwartz