By: Angela Walschinski, Account Assistant, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.

I finished my first half marathon this past weekend and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s an amazing accomplishment and a great feeling to know I have my first half marathon under my belt. Reflecting back on my run, I realized there are similarities between preparing for a half marathon and preparing a successful PR plan.

First and foremost, it’s all about your mindset and putting a plan into place. For the past four and a half months, I trained by running three times a week in order to prepare myself for the big day. It was hard work, sheer willpower and determination that kept me going. I hit a setback in early April when I experienced some pain in my right foot, but that didn’t keep me from moving forward. I readjusted my training program in a way that allowed me to continue towards my goal. On race day I knew I would cross the finish line no matter what.

This is the same way businesses should approach their PR plans. It starts with knowing the desired outcome and then breaking it down into smaller steps that will lead to the end result. Yes, there can be frustrations and setbacks, but remember that any plan requires flexibility because things can change over time. For instance, once your plan is in place, you may find that your target audience is responding quicker than anticipated, there might be an increase or decrease in budget that changes how you carry out the original plan as intended, or your plan might not be working. The ability to create a plan with room to “roll with the punches” is essential for effective PR.

In the case of preparing for a half marathon or preparing a successful PR plan, you can’t expect immediate results, but through persistence, dedication and determination the desired results will be achieved. Have you accomplished anything recently that has taught you about how you can achieve success? What type of obstacles have you come across in PR and how did you overcome them?