Measure Twice, Cut Once
One way to take the win and hold the aspirin.
Ever heard the saw (and please excuse the pun), "measure twice, cut once"? It's a reminder that taking the time to plan and measure carefully means you won't need to make corrections later. This may seem slow, especially for someone like a custom home builder who may have the talent and luck to "eyeball" it, but most of us could gain a lot from some thoughtful preparation.
Photo by energepic.com: https://www.pexels.com/photo/tool-set-on-plank-175039
Allow me to share a story from many years ago, back when the internet was hardly a thing. I was doing some marketing consulting with a friend, and we signed a client who ran a construction business. He was looking to expand into the remodeling sector.
After analyzing his business, we recommended a humorous, direct-mail campaign targeted at specific audiences and areas. But our client was initially convinced that one great mailer would be enough.
"We need more than one," we explained. "Even if everyone reads it, only a fraction will be interested in remodeling right away. We need to make your company the first thing they think of when they're ready. You need to be memorable."
He expected at least a 10% response, though back then, 2-4% was more realistic. We suggested a series of 8-10 mailers over six months, creating an engaging campaign that would make his business stand out.
One of our ideas was a postcard with two aspirins on it, captioned, "Remodeling your kitchen shouldn't be a headache." We were seeking to position his firm as a customer-friendly, humorous, and efficient option.
But the client hated it.
To make a long story short, we ended up suggesting a single mailer since he was on a tight budget. Though it looked great and reached 6,000 homes, it had only a 1% response rate and resulted in no new business.
The client was unhappy, and we had to part ways.
The lesson here? We should've insisted on proper planning. A one-shot mailer was like shouting into the Grand Canyon; without any follow-up, the echoes meant nothing. The client cut twice, and we lost him. And we deserved to lose him.
Despite this mishap, things worked out for us in the end. The former client stayed in business for many years, and we wished them well. But I still encounter the same issue. Many clients want action without investing in a proper plan, preferring to "eyeball" the market instead.
When I stress the importance of a PR/marketing plan, I sometimes get met with skepticism and concerns about cost. But not having a plan is often more expensive in the long run.
Just as a single ad or mailer is unlikely to create a flood of sales, a solitary press release is rarely a wise investment. A well-coordinated plan, with engaging releases distributed and pitched throughout the year, is the smarter approach.
Here are some guidelines for how often to issue press releases:
If you have something new to tell people that will be helpful to your target audience, one press release per month is not unreasonable
If you want to generate brand awareness, you can publish press releases frequently, such as at least once a month
If you aim to improve your search engine rankings, you can issue a press release every two weeks or once a month
If you have a time-sensitive topic, you can send releases at least once a week
Sharing your news frequently can help you get a journalist's attention and get your brand name recognized
You should avoid bombarding the media with press releases, and you should not submit the same press release more than once. But you should understand that one press release every year or two is usually not going to make you memorable.