Nobody goes into a PR campaign expecting it to fail. You want every one of your ideas to take off so your business can continue to grow. On the other hand, there are always PR ideas you feel in the deepest pits of your guts will work. You just know that this idea is gold and it’s going to bring your company success for years to come.

the red vector stop symbol on whiteUnfortunately, for whatever reason, this can often be the one idea that fizzles. I’ve seen this again and again – the PR idea you think is the best one falls apart while another idea you had no idea would even work completely takes off.

Why does this happen? There are a few reasons I’ve seen. On top of that, there are a few lesson to take from this phenomenon.

Reasons Why This Happens

This isn’t just a PR oddity that happens. It occurs pretty much everywhere you have the opportunity to be creative and put a lot of work into one thing. It’s almost like the universe is laughing at your big plans you have for your future.

One reason I think this occurs is because you become way too “close” to the project. For instance if you just KNOW that your Facebook page is going to be your big breadwinner, you’re going to spend all your free time picking at it. You’ll constantly think it’s not quite perfect and add this or that or update it to no end.

Eventually it will seem overdone to your customers. It’s the same if you spend all your free time working on one particular blog post – eventually it seems to everyone like you’re just obsessed with this one thing. When they read it, it just comes off as trying too hard.

Another reason is you can become a little too precious about the campaign. A PR idea you aren’t entirely sure about will likely be able to breathe and feel “natural” to your customers. A campaign you’re fully (overly?) invested in won’t have this freedom because you have a strict idea of what you want.

What to Learn

At some point this will happen to you. You won’t realize it, but you’ll be so focused on one campaign, hoping beyond hope that it will take off. Behind your back, your blog posts or Twitter account will take off and you’ll wonder what happened.

What’s really important to take away is that you should always give your campaigns room to breathe. Things will not always play out like you plan – in fact, they hardly ever do. When these changes happen, you have to be able to play around and take it in stride. Otherwise, you risk losing your entire campaign.

Another note: you should also know that no campaign is infallible. There’s no “sure thing” in the PR world, much less a campaign idea that’s guaranteed to work. You should always assume your best idea might go out with a whimper and to always have a back-up plan in mind so it’s not all for naught.

What’s a campaign you just knew would work… but that failed miserably?