There is no getting around the fact that public relations is sales. PR consultants sell their value to potential clients and their clients' stories to the press. But the problem is when too much of their value is placed on quantity over quality. How many hits or media placements did you have? What outlets covered you story? How did that compare from previous years?
These are all important questions., and there is some truth to the idea that the more media you obtain, the more likely you are to reach your market. But the reality is that today, our attention spans are shorter. We are more likely to read or watch one compelling story about your company, than check out a syndicated press release, or a brief mention in the media. And that one quality story pays you dividends in the future, as you repurpose it: getting it framed, sending out copies to your employees and customers, and posting links to it on your website and social media channels. That one story can be an inspiration, and help create a sense of pride and community for all who are connected to your organization.
Don't get me wrong. I always try to cast a wide net when I pitch stories. But in the end, there are always one or two outstanding stories that stand out. Those are the ones you have to repurpose. And remember: it's not how big your coverage is, but how you use it, that really counts.