24 March 2021

Why public relations is like taking your brand to the gym

When talking to businesses and individuals new to public relations (PR), Limitless Public Relations’ director Greg Wilson is proud to be full of explainer-analogies. A consistent one is that PR is like taking your brand to the gym.

Why? Well weirdly for someone selling PR, the starting point is that nobody needs to go to the gym.

If you think of your business as a human body, then you might think of having a sales function as being like water. Without a sales function, be that online, in person, over the phone, whatever, your business will die just as quick as your body would without water.

But sales on its own is not enough to keep you alive for long. For a long life, your sales function needs to be supported by marketing. If sales is like water, then marketing is like food for your business.

In the same way your body needs food to grow and develop, marketing feeds your business. Lead generation is provided by SEO, PPC, telemarketing, networking or whatever you use to generate interest. Sales conversion is provided through your website, or your salesperson and their literature, or a mixture of both, dependent on the nature of your business.

You are what you eat

Like food, marketing comes in varying degrees of quality – often linked to price. Cheap food, like cheap marketing, is rarely the best. And like cheap food, cheap marketing will keep you alive, but it won’t necessarily allow you to live your longest or best life.

Good quality food however will put you in good health. Likewise, good quality marketing will do the same for your business.

So there you have it. With food and water, you will live. What more do you need?

This is where the PR analogy comes in. While you need food and water to survive, you will not die if you don’t go to the gym. Similarly, your business will not die without PR in the same way it would without sales and marketing.

The honest truth is that good PR and brand awareness is not essential to achieving sales. There are many, many businesses out there whose brand awareness is zilch, and they still get sales.

So why do it? Well, it’s because brand building is an activity reserved only for those who want, not just to survive, but to excel. It’s for those who want to pull ahead of the pack, stand out from the crowd, and be a big name in their industry. It’s for those who want to invest in long term growth, with an aim of one day being the obvious choice, so that sales is no longer a struggle. To achieve a scenario where customers gravitate to you, because you have gravity. And not just customers, people too, because aspirational businesses will grow better when they have the best people working for them. It’s about understanding the payback you will receive by increasing your overall attractiveness.

Why you need a consistent PR approach

Making the step-up from sales and marketing and into PR is big business thinking. Lifestyle businesses need not apply. If you’re going to go for gold, once your sales and marketing is up and running, you’d better hit the gym.

A common mistake many businesses make when looking at PR is that they think in terms of rocket-ship based analogies like the “big launch” or military style “campaigns” – single battles that can be won in a day for glory that will last forever.

But PR isn’t like going to war. It’s like going to the gym. If you go to the gym once and do a massive session, hit every machine, lift every single weight, when you look in the mirror afterwards, guess what? No difference. Why did you even bother going? Waste of time, and now you’re just tired.

But if instead, you go to the gym consistently, three times a week, doing a basic set, perhaps gradually building overtime, guess what happens when you look in the mirror after a year? Better still combine your efforts with a healthy diet, how do you think you will look after 5 years?

Other reasons brand PR is like going to the gym include:

  1. People do it to thrive, not just survive
  2. Consistency is as important as intensity
  3. Results come from commitment, overtime – not overnight
  4. You’ll get better results if you take professional advice
  5. Ignoring professional advice can lead to injuries
  6. There’s never a bad time to start – except too late
  7. The positive results benefit your entire being
  8. A mixed programme works best
  9. The more you do it, the easier it becomes
  10. You never “complete” the gym – it’s a lifelong commitment and attitude

Big brands don’t become big brands overnight. They build overtime, and so it is with public relations. So, when do you want to start?

If you’d like to know how we can help, please email

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