When it comes to public relations, a lot of companies have good intentions.  They say they are going to put out two or three positive message press releases each month.  Everything starts out great, but they get busy and deadlines start to slip.  Three releases a month becomes one, or even none. The slip isn’t planned, but it also isn’t punished.

It’s a lot like exercising.  Some people love exercising and working out.  They plan their schedules around their work out times.  I’m not one of those people that love working out, but I do swim laps three days each week.  I’m not fast, but I’m consistent.  For the last four years I have swam the exact same distance, the exact same way.  I swim one mile non-stop, which is 33 laps there-and-back (66 lengths).   While that distance may seem impressive to some, it’s really not significant to a lot of swimmers.   A swim team, for example, does several miles in a daily practice.

Unless I’m travelling for more than a couple days (which is rare), there are zero exceptions to my three times per week rule. Why?  Because the first time I make an excuse like it’s too cold, or it’s raining or I have somewhere else I’d rather be, I’ll use an excuse every time I don’t feel like swimming—which is pretty much every day.

This past December I swam on a Thursday night around 7:30pm.  I swim outside (I live in Arizona) and even though the pool is heated it can still get cold, especially after the sun goes down.  The temperature was in the 40s and there was a fog as heat came off the pool into the air. I often use the swim time to think about my day or come up with ideas for my client.

But on this day, as I was counting down the laps until I could go home, I began wonder how many miles I’ve swum.  Based on 3 days per week for at least 50 weeks each year, that’s an estimated 150 miles each year.

I’m not saying that to brag—like I said, I’m not fast and to other swimmers a mile isn’t impressive.  I know that.  But I couldn’t help feeling proud of the cumulative total.  I also couldn’t help but to recognize that my swimming approach mirrored my PR approach.  A consistent and steady effort can lead to big results over time.

One mile isn’t going to get you in shape, just as one press release isn’t going to earn you a reputation as a go-to expert resource to a reporter.  Only as those miles, or press releases, add up will they pay off. And they only add up if you don’t take days off.