WHY SLOW BURNS CAN BE THE BRIGHTEST
Amanda Lyons, associate director, Gong Communications
Much as I dislike most of the caricatures about PR folk, the image of the time-poor, plate-spinning, device-juggling communications professional isn’t much of an exaggeration. Whether agency or in-house, the demands of a permanently ‘on’ 24/7 media environment and satisfying the competing needs of multiple stakeholders mean that we constantly run in the fast lane.
Although brand building requires quick thinking and speedy delivery, it’s important to take the time to slow down for a moment and appreciate that not all great things happen in a flash. At Gong we’ve been reminded of this over the last few months. Some of our biggest and best ideas have literally taken years to come to fruition. For example, creating an anthology of perspectives from global leaders and a ground-breaking symposium to convene great minds to tackle some of the most challenging food security issues for one client. Both of these were a slow burn to progress from concept to reality – but the results were more than worth the wait.
Achieving industry change or engaging high profile thought leaders in a meaningful conversation is a different model to opportunistic activations to generate a quick win. For us, getting big ideas off the ground is a mastery of helping clients to secure buy-in from internal supporters and budget holders, securing the right people to participate, timing any outreach with the broader corporate strategy, as well as making sure the stars align with what’s going on in clients’ industries and the wider world.
We’re also reminded of this in business development. As with our personal lives, timing plays a great part in whether a relationship is going to get off the ground and grow into something beautiful. In January we supported The END Fund to communicate its inspiring agenda at Davos – a client that we started initial conversations with nearly three years ago and hope to work with for a long time to come.
So to everyone out there, whether you’re working in a corporate communications agency or building brands and reputations in-house, let’s remind ourselves that there’re more to results than short-term success. When we experience barriers to getting projects over the line or converting an opportunity into an outcome, we need to keep sight of the big vision. Let’s have faith that we’ll achieve it because patience (and determination) isn’t just virtuous, it’s valuable.