Onions aren’t for everyone. Just ask my sister and brother-in-law. They will go out of their minds to make sure they’ve cleared every last particle of an onion from their food. But, they both understand the importance onions play in the flavoring of recipes.

Nearly every person who makes their living in the kitchen, or even stay-at-home-chefs, understand the layers of an onion hold the secrets to the success of a recipe. Even down to the way onions are sliced – the flavor can get more intense. The same can be said of Public Relations. The onion is the idea and the various layers are the depths you and your colleagues are willing to go to achieve success.

Every amazing PR campaign starts with an idea – some ideas are better starting points than others, but if everyone in the room is open-minded success can be built upon. The key to success is the various layers you’re willing to peel back to get to the center. Many great ideas and campaigns never get off the chef’s cutting board because the people working in the kitchen are afraid to add flavor. You cannot be afraid to fail and this is where experience matters in the kitchen and in the boardroom.

From a PR standpoint, everyone is in agreement that one of the most important layers to peel back first is the “getting to know the editors you are pitching” layer. There is no disputing that as you work your way toward a “relationship” with them to increase your odds of getting your client’s business and products covered. Many experts suggest reading at least 3-4 of the editors more recent stories. This is good tried-and-true recipe. But we’ve had success going deeper with our research.

In today’s publishing environment, very few of our editors work full-time for the publication we are targeting them at. We now work in a “contributor” environment where most journalists write for several publications. So it’s important to read more than the 3-4 articles. The more research you can do increases your chances of connecting with an editor. I would argue that a good idea + depth + research = PR success! The deeper you’re willing dig the happier your clients will be with your PR efforts.

We have even found editorial recipe success by using an editor’s personal blogs, finding them on Medium.com and of course Linkedin.com. There are no ideas out of bounds. The best approach is throw all of your ideas in the boiling pot of water and see which ones move you to culinary PR success.

That’s the key, don’t do anything if it doesn’t cause your mouth to water. Now off to find our next big idea!