When it Comes to PR, Be More Like a Cat
There’s no question that cats rule the internet. When you search “cats” in google, it turns over a billion results. It is definitely the dream of every PR pro to receive as many followers or page views as Grumpy Cat or Lil Bub. Maybe we’ve got a thing or two to learn from cats and how they managed to achieve global internet domination.
Don’t take your eye off the ball
Cats are natural hunters, who take the time to carefully study their prey, ball or catnip mouse before pouncing. In PR, we can’t stress enough on the importance of research. We have seen more than enough instances of journalists (don’t want to call them prey) being annoyed due to poor targeting on our part. If we take the time studying a journalist’s beat, these instances can be minimized considerably.
If it fits, it sits.
It’s true that cats will find a way to fit into every size box, vase or uncomfortable space. Unlike our feline friends, we shouldn’t be spending time trying to fit a client story into a certain publication if it simply is not a fit. Choose the right media to reach your target audience.
Cats have to investigate every new item, sound and movement in their territory because they are genuinely curious. While the saying goes “curiosity killed the cat”, their curiosity has actually made them smarter about their surroundings. PR pros should take the time to learn everything about their clients. Read everything you can find on the topic or even listen in on internal calls and interviews, you never know where you will discover a nugget of information that could lead to an interesting story.
Persistence Pays Off
Every cat owner will tell you the horror stories of cats howling in the middle of the night to be let out, fed or entertained. Some owners will try to ignore and fall back asleep, but after 30 minutes we all give in. Persistence is essential in media relations. I’m not saying take a megaphone to the nearest media outlet, but don’t take “no” or silence for an answer. Follow up consistently, feed them relevant stories and request feedback.
Cats love to jump and believe they can reach any height. Sometimes PR pros doubt themselves and don’t think outlets like the New York Times or Wall Street Journal are attainable. Why not try? If you fail, you will just land on your feet.
– Emily Watkins