I spent four days supporting my daughter’s first team netball squad at a tournament. Playing 13 games at 1st team level is a big ask. I watched as these players, ranging from 15 to 18 years old, played their hearts out, never giving up. As always, working while on the move, it inspired me to encourage the same of businesses when embarking on a PR campaign. Nothing comes easy or quickly, not as an individual or a team. When you commit, make sure it is for a period long enough to give PR a chance. Too many companies give up at three months, citing all sorts of reasons, but mostly it is an ignorance or an unrealistic expectation from PR. As with a netball player, you have to spend hours honing your skill, building your fitness and creating game plans. You have to work with six other players plus your coaching team to get the best result. In PR, you need to partner with your agency, provide content, brainstorm ideas and commit to developing relationships with the media. You need to spend months developing your reputation and positioning yourself as a thought leader and expert among your peers, industry and most importantly, the media. The latter is your biggest challenge. It’s important to remember that shaping perceptions and shifting opinion is not something achieved easily or quickly. It takes time, effort and determination. While three months seems long enough, it’s simply not. There is so much noise in the marketplace, a campaign needs 12 to 18 months to really gather momentum and shift and shape perceptions. Thankfully PR is cost effective when compared to other tools, delivering an average ratio of 1:6 in most cases. PR is needed in a marketplace that has little trust and integrity. There is no other way to convince an audience that you are an expert and can be trusted. The school’s 1st team went on to win the tournament, out of 32 teams, they came out on top. This has taken years in the making and what was once an unknown small private school, has now firmly established itself as a quality netball school with a champion 1st team. It took three tournament wins in a row to get this far, giving up was never an option. Life lessons are everywhere and here I am learning them from my 15 year old baby of the squad, who left her heart and soul on that court.