On any given day in the Voxus office, you’ll find at least seven dogs napping, playing and generally receiving limitless spoiling from our team. The people of Voxus are known for their love of dogs, but it’s our skill in the art of “cat herding” that we apply to PR tasks on a daily basis.
Cat herding, or “creative persistence,” can range from keeping team members on deadline and juggling multiple client accounts to gently following up with press contacts on news coverage. Our clients also need a friendly nudge every once in a while, and we’re happy to do it to keep projects and activities running at a steady pace.
The majority of our cat herding skills are applied when pitching news to the media. In a dream world, each press contact on our targeted list would respond immediately to our pitch with interest and excitement to cover the news. In reality, reporters are BUSY and read hundreds of emails a day. Hence, follow ups are a very necessary part of getting the news coverage our clients deserve.
Some PR professionals have a great system and some are a bit more lackadaisical about their follow up process with press. It’s always important to put together a schedule. Assign yourself specific days to handle your follow ups and make sure that you have enough time to complete all of them in the time you have allotted.
We also acknowledge that certain members of the press need more “herding” than others. Some require a very gentle tap and others need a forceful shake. For example, we recently pitched a contributed article topic idea to a prominent business publication. The editor expressed interest in the topic, but then went silent quickly. It took the team two months of persistent follow ups to reconnect with the contact and confirm the article placement.
Whether we recognize it or not, cat herding is a critical part of PR and Voxus is pretty talented at it. It takes persistence, organization and a lot of patience, but the payoff is always worth it.