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PR victory goes to those who move quickly—then move onto the next message

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Who can’t relate to long post office lines?

Around the holidays, especially Christmas, you come to expect and fully understand the serpentine queues that take shape. Multiple gift packages, decisions about whether to insure a delivery and how quickly you want it to arrive at its destination—these can make for lengthy visits.

But whether you are in Oak Park or Park Forest, St. Charles or Deerfield, seemingly interminable waits know no season.

Whether the problem is institutional or individual for any given circumstance, this low level of performance doesn’t cut it in the private sector. In that realm, being a go-getter is actually rewarded, not frowned upon by colleagues and supervisors looking to preserve the status quo.

In the highly competitive Chicago public relations and marketing landscape, if you cause people to wait, you also cause them to wonder: “Who else should I find to do the job just as well, or better, but certainly much faster?”

The sooner you convey your core message straight to your primary audience, the bigger edge you will gain on your competitors. It’s not only about being the first one in your product category in the marketplace. You also want to be the first one to wage an effective marketing campaign about your product or service within that marketplace.

In the mid- to late-1980s, when he was a young salesman in the burgeoning cellular phone industry, Dan Yuen developed success not only because of the qualities of the product he sold. He also needed to develop personal qualities of tenacity and reliability in order to nurture positive relationships with his customers. And he needed to do it quickly, moving from one prospect to the next without diminishing the quality of his interactions.

Those characteristics served Yuen well in rapidly building an Amway Diamond business, with his wife Sandy and within the World Wide Group teaching-and-training organization. An instrumental part of his attitude has been the same mindset of other WWG leaders ranging from Greg Duncan and Ron Puryear to Howie Danzik and Bill Hawkins: get through the individual who says "no" as swiftly as possible, in order to get to the next person who will say "yes" all the sooner.

"Tell me yes, tell me no, tell me now."

What was true for Yuen and other WWG leaders, decades ago as well as today in his entrepreneurial venture, is true for publicists and others vying to get their message across today. Move quickly, but don't leave your prospects--the media gate-keepers who evaluate the merits of your story--feeling hot-boxed. Move on to others, so you don't get fixated on "that one prospect."

Beyond those interactions, too, the more you can circumvent anyone who might put a spin on or otherwise hijack your message for their own purposes, the more clearly and compellingly will your message resonate with your target audience.

The most consistently powerful media approach these days, particularly on the local level, is to deliver your point faster than the rest. That comes from anticipating the range of media needs, knowing how to package the information meeting those needs and then delivering it to them in a direct, customized manner that connects with your audience.

Amid the unrelenting cacophony of other voices throughout the media, as well as social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, keep this in mind: the faster you move, the faster you can move onto the next message.

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