What’s Love Got To Do With It? A Valentine’s Day Lesson for Public Relations

February 17, 2015

Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is a thing. I have gone back and forth on it myself, but this year I find myself asking, “What Would Churchill Do?”


 A self-proclaimed optimist, Churchill would say that Valentine’s Day is just another difficulty with which to find an opportunity. After taking a step back, I have discovered that Valentine’s Day has taught me three life lessons that I try to apply to PR every day.

 1) Set expectations

Whether you have been dating forever or just met last week, you need to set expectations for each other in advance of the holiday. When my husband and I began dating and Valentine’s Day was around the corner, I shot him a quick email that went something like this:

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 1.26.43 PM

OK, well, he didn’t say exactly that, but you get the idea. I learned that setting expectations head on is a good way to go.

It’s the same principle I use for PR; whether I’m talking to a client about anticipated coverage on an announcement or to a reporter on an embargo date, I aim to clearly communicate actions and expectations. Time and again, setting expectations has prevented disappointment and heartache.

2) One size doesn’t fit all

According to the History Channel, 58 million pounds of chocolate candy is bought and sold during Valentine’s Day week. Chances are, if you give someone a heart-shaped box of chocolates, they will not slap you in the face. But they will not think you are anything to write home about.

 Heart Shaped Box

At BPR, we think about this every day. As Rachel previously noted, our value lies within our creativity and our knack for telling our clients’ stories in an inspiring way. In this world of communication overload, the same cut and paste pitch is not going to stand out and it will not give you the results that your clients are expecting and deserve. Personalize your gift and personalize your story. Period.

 3) Give them a reason to brag

What’s simultaneously one of the best and worst things about Valentine’s Day? OK, there are probably a lot of things that fit this category. What I’m thinking about is the day after Valentine’s Day, when you have to/get to hear about the diamond earrings and puppy that your coworker received from her boyfriend the night before. As annoying as it is when someone brags, you can’t help but be a little jealous and think that your coworker’s boyfriend is pretty cool. I want a Valentine’s Day puppy!

 Valentine's Puppy

The thing is, we all want to give our clients puppies and make them happy. Happy clients brag about their awesome teams, and that can lead to new business opportunities. That’s why when business comes in through word-of-mouth, we feel extra warm and fuzzy inside because we know that we gave our client the “puppy.”

Valentine’s Day is here to stay. In other words the opportunities in public relations are infinite. You just have to be willing to find them.





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