Monday, June 12, 2006

It's a marathon, not a sprint

I just got back from a run around a local park. The park has a 1.5-ish loop and attracts everyone from hardcore runners to speed walkers to dog walkers. A friend and I did a few loops and talked about how we used to jump into the park as a quick soft-track respite during longer winter runs while training for a marathon. I decided that I don't really care for running in circles. It feels small. It feels short and pointless.

As I drove home, I got to thinking about the cliche, "It's a marathon, not a sprint" and how I felt like my run tonight was more of a sprint than an achievement of distance. The drive home is a brief 10 minutes, but I started thinking hard about a couple companies I'm working with, both gearing up for a big push.

My day was filled with planning for these respective brand bursts and much of what we've discussed are ways to make the burst (whether it's an event, product launch, announcement, whatever) be the point b in an a-to-c scale. Not the Holy Grail. Not the big story. Surely it could be the peak, but it shouldn't be the end point. It should be a water stop on the marathon route. The one-of-many things that create momentum for the brand, but do not define the brand. A marathon, not a sprint.

PR is guilty of being rather sprint-oriented. We love events. We love "Today announced." And it's not something to be ashamed of - journalists desire sprints. The public wants the relay team instead of the pace group. But the sprints shouldn't define the brand. They should be but a burst in the overall plan to raise brand awareness and create brand relationships. Long-term relationships. Not one-night stands...OK. I'm done with the analogies here. You get the point.

It's a marathon, not a sprint. Or, Olivier Blanchard might push a triathlon comparison. Whatever, just go long. And in the spirit of distance, here's my newest running mix. I don't want to brag, but it clocks in at exactly an hour.

Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand (a number one must - gets you out the door)
Good Man - Josh Ritter (one of the best from his new album)
Soul Meets Body - Death Cab for Cutie (If "I do believe it's true, there are roads left in both of our shoes" doesn't inspire you...)
FuGeeLa - The Fugees
Evil - Interpol
Big Pimpin - Jay Z with the Roots (Yeah, it's on here)
Do It Again - Nada Surf (my favorite Nada song)
Down - 311
Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) - The Proclaimers (top 10 songs of all time)
Every Moment - Rogue Wave
White Shadows - Coldplay (inspiring song to start the cool down)
When it Flows - Great Lake Swimmers
Fight Test - The Flaming Lips (this song always makes me want to kick some ass, in a mellow emo way)
The Sea - Morcheeba (this song says, "you're about done and there's a bottle of wine at the end")


Blogger Olivier Blanchard said...

It's an Ironman, not a Sprint. ;)

10:23 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home