How sticking to an EMS public relations plan pays off

Realize the benefits of regular outreach by making positive press releases a routine

When it comes to building community support and awareness, a lot of EMS agencies have good intentions. They plan to distribute two or three positive press releases each month; simple stuff like CPR classes for the general public and new hire announcements. Everything starts out great, but things get busy and press release deadlines start to slip. Three releases a month becomes one, or even none. The slip isn’t planned, but it also isn’t punished.

Commit to a routine

Marketing and promotion are a lot like exercising. Some people love exercising and working out. They plan their schedules around their workout times.

I don't love working out, but I do swim laps three days each week. I’m not fast, but I’m consistent. For the last four years I have swam the exact same distance, the exact same way. I swim one mile non-stop, which is 33 laps. While that distance may seem impressive to some, it’s really not significant to a lot of swimmers. A swim team member, for example, swims several miles in a daily practice.

Commit with zero exceptions

Unless I’m travelling for more than a couple days (which is rare), there are zero exceptions to my three times per week rule. Why? Because the first time I make an excuse like it’s too cold, or it’s raining or I have somewhere else I’d rather be, I’ll use an excuse every time I don’t feel like swimming—which is pretty much every day.

I swim outside at a public fitness center (I live in Arizona) and even though the pool is heated it can still get cold, especially after the sun goes down in the winter months. One particular winter evening the temperature was in the 40s and there was a fog as heat rose off the pool into the cool air.

I often use my swim time to think about my day or come up with ideas for my clients. But on this day, as I was counting down the laps until I could go home, I began to wonder how many miles I’ve swum. Three days per week for at least 50 weeks each year, means I am swimming 150 miles each year.

Take pride in the ongoing public relations effort

I’m not saying that to brag—like I said, I’m not fast and to other swimmers a mile isn’t impressive. I know that. Yet I couldn’t help feeling proud of the total.

My swimming approach mirrors my public relations approach. A consistent and steady effort leads to big results over time. 

A single mile of swimming isn’t going to get you in shape, just as one press release isn’t going to earn you a reputation as a go-to expert resource for a local reporter. Only as those miles, or press releases, add up will you realize the pay off. And the effort only adds up if you don’t take days off.

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