4 PR lessons to celebrate the Fourth of July
This article originally ran on PR Daily in July of 2017.
As we prepare for the Fourth of July, your mind might wander to celebrating
with friends at a backyard barbecue and watching fireworks displays light
up the night sky.
However, Independence Day—and the American Revolution in general—represent
the outcome of one of history’s first, and most successful, PR campaigns.
Let’s look back at our nation’s Founding Fathers.
These men were not only strong leaders with political savvy, they were also
pros at using PR tactics to achieve their goals. By employing PR strategies
in their fight for independence, our nation’s Founding Fathers united early
Americans and led them to victory—without the internet and social platforms
to help build their brand or spread their messages.
Here are four lessons from our founding fathers to apply to your PR
1. Have a plan for the long haul.
The American Revolution lasted eight years. To maintain support for their
movement, leading revolutionaries needed to keep the people informed and
From the Boston Massacre in 1770 and the signing of the Declaration of
Independence in 1776, to the British surrender at Yorktown and Great
Britain’s final recognition of American independence in 1783, the
consistent and strategic PR campaign promoting the revolution was a crucial
part of America’s success.
There are many factors that contributed to the birth of America as an
independent nation, but America’s independence would not have been possible
without the application of a well-planned approach to communicating the
Founding Fathers’ purpose and messages to the nation’s citizens.
Thanks to this strong PR campaign, America’s early leaders were successful
in motivating the colonists to fight for and gain their independence from
the British crown—no matter how long it took.
This same concept can be applied to PR today. Plan your PR with a sustained
campaign lasting for an extended period of time.
2. Gather your troops.
Hosting events such as the Boston Tea Party was one way that
revolutionaries gathered supporters to broadcast their messages. Organizing
events for your target audience is one way you can attract media attention
to promote your organization.
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Events can be a great way for you or your spokesman to interact with
numerous members of the media at once, as well as provide an opportunity to
showcase your brand’s personality.
Events also provide a forum to discuss industry news and trends, which can
spark ideas for future media opportunities. Plus, these in-person meet ups
help showcase your status as someone reporters can contact for expert
quotes and insights.
3. Hone your message.
“No taxation without representation” is one of the many slogans and key
phrases our Founding Fathers used to promote their cause.
In PR, it is important to always remember your core message when pitching
reporters, drafting press releases, facilitating interviews and managing
your day-to-day communications needs. Keeping on message ensures that your
organization’s point of view is communicated in a consistent way by
everyone who speaks about it.
Develop your key messages and then stick to them. They can help promote
4. Keep calm and carry on.
Despite losing 25,000 men in battles over the course of the Revolutionary
War, American troops did not back down against their British foes. They
Perseverance is just as important in your organization’s PR activities.
A pitch that doesn’t receive a positive response or land media coverage on
the first try doesn’t mean you should give up. Follow up with reporters and
find new ways to position previously unsuccessful pitches. A second or
third time might be the charm.
Creativity is a major part of this process, and having an open mind to
forging new paths can make tackling your PR that much easier. America’s
independence wasn’t won in a day. Keep calm and adhere to the lessons
above, and you’ll be a PR powerhouse in no time.
What lessons from the Fourth of July can you apply to your PR practices?
Blattenbauer is the founder of
Hearsay PR. A version of this article originally appeared on
the agency’s blog.