Why PR Pros Shouldn’t be Like Last Minute Shoppers

There’s an old saying about the dangers of procrastination. I can’t seem to remember it at the moment though, I’m too busy scouring Amazon for last minute Christmas presents. And I’m not alone. Scores of Americans know the chaos of last minute shopping all too well.

According to a recent survey by Retale, 15 percent of all holiday shoppers will get their shopping done during the closing days of December. Nine ercent of shoppers will wait until the very end—Christmas Eve—to buy their last gift.

Nothing bad will come of shoppers delaying their spending sprees until right before Christmas. The presents will still be under the tree come Christmas morning. And there are actually plenty of good reasons to wait to shop, such as getting better deals or having other financial responsibilities.

This lack of repercussions is what makes holiday procrastination unique. At any other time, procrastination usually comes before a fall. Nowhere is this truer than in the field of communications.

As a communicator, waiting until the last minute can and will make your job that much harder. Take for example a crisis situation. The first rule of crisis communications is to have a plan and act on it promptly. Allowing time to pass can cause the narrative to drift beyond the reach of even the most effective PR strategy.

Another sure-fire way to get a headache is not doing your homework for media pitches. It's important to be sure that you know what a journalist writes about and what outlets he/she contribute to so that your pitch fits within that area of expertise. Blindly firing press releases and seeing what sticks is a great way to anger journos and have your pitch fall flat.

That being said, all the forward thinking in the world will only go so far in todays connected world. Social media is an important facet of an overall communications strategy, and real time marketing is all the rage. The ability to connect as events unfold should not be wielded lightly, as it can and will alter almost any communications situation.

And, after all that prep work is done and your social media ready, at least the last minute will be open to finish your shopping.