Levine Communications Office

One of America's Premier Public Relations Firms

The Power of Long Term Thinking in P.R.

Posted by Levine Communications Office on December 19, 2012

Written by Michael Levine.      

As I approach my 30th year in the world of public relations, there is no lesson more valuable for a client than the power of long term thinking.

Over and over again, I see clients make the disastrous mistake of thinking about their P.R. as a three or six-month journey that can be stopped and started like a yo-yo flies up and down. Bad idea. Really bad idea.

Like the fabled tortoise that beat the hare in the race, the client who stays in for the long term is more likely to achieve his or her goals than the client who foolishly chases “quick results” in the media market. Consistency is a client’s best friend because it gives compounding impact time to work its magic. Compounding is the mathematical process where interest on your results in turn earns interest and is added to your initial result.

Consider the following four investors, ages 25-55. Each invests $2,000 per year and earns 8%.

At age 65:

The investor who started at age 25 has over $585,000.
The investor who started at age 35 has over $250,000.
The investor who started at age 45 has over $98,800.
The investor who started at age 55 has just $30,700.

The results are quite dramatic and, as you might expect, the consistent investor comes out the best. However, look at the difference starting 10 years sooner can make. The fewer years invested, the more dramatic the difference with the next youngest age. The investor who starts at age 45 still earns over three times as much as the investor who starts at age 55. Of course, part of the difference is the 45-year-old investor has 10 years ($20,000) more to invest, but the rest of the difference is the power of compounding.

The client with a long-term perspective can also correct for mistakes along the way. For example, that idea you thought was going to soar like an eagle turned out to be a turkey. If you have a long-term perspective, you can change ideas that aren’t working for other alternatives.
Long-term clients, especially those who invest in a diversified P.R. strategy (traditional and non-traditional), can ride out down times and ideas. However, for the client with the short-term thinking, a missed idea can be disastrous.

If you remember nothing else, it is that long-term thinking is the only way to ensure that public relations can transform you and your business, and that nothing will injure that possibility more than short-term thinking.

ML

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