In PR, we all want to hit home runs. It’s natural. We want that cover story on a major magazine or that interview on a top talk show. A few years back, everyone wanted their “Oprah moment.”

baseball_pitcherBut the fact is that the PR home run is rare. With some luck, it can happen, but if you’re banking everything on hitting a home run, you’re going to be disappointed more times than not. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still win the game. The truth is you can have an immensely successful PR campaign by putting together a handful of singles, doubles, and maybe even the occasional triple.

It’s what some of us call the bottom-up approach to PR.

Allow me to switch metaphors, if you don’t mind. Picture a mountain. At the top of the mountain, you have the huge national and international media outlets. These are the CNNs, New York Times, Wall Street Journals, etc. A little below that, you have some of the bigger regional publications, like the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and so on. Then, below that you might have some of the more popular niche blogs and magazines, and further down are your local newspapers, small blogs, etc.

Now, if you want to get to the top of a mountain, what do you do? You climb the damn thing. And it can be a steep climb, no doubt about it. But here’s the thing, as you make your way up, you reach little milestones along the way – you get featured in your hometown newspaper here, interviewed in an industry publication there.

Before you know it, those little successes are starting to add up. The bigger publications start taking notice, picking up your stories, and next thing you know, you’re a little higher up the mountain. You keep forging ahead, the coverage keeps rolling in, and you keep landing bigger and bigger exposure. With a whole lot of luck and a whole lot of perseverance, you might one day reach the top of the mountain.

But the point is you have to start somewhere. And for most companies, the starting point is at the very bottom, and that’s okay.