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Getting back on the bike

Albert Einstein, a pretty smart guy, defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

So what’s a PR professional to do when a promising idea doesn’t work? You do the insane thing, of course.

Several years ago, I pitched a reporter on the idea of taking a bike ride with a client to talk about how cycling is an ideal way to connect with nature in the city. Despite promising feedback, the bike ride never happened.

Recently, the idea crossed my mind again while working with a client that wanted to highlight disparities in access to community health infrastructure such as farmers markets, playgrounds and bike paths throughout the city. After researching high-profile media targets with an interest in public health and access in underserved communities, I came across a columnist who had covered this topic before.

We pitched the idea of continuing the conversation on – you guessed it – a bike ride, complete with stops to talk with people about public health in underserved areas. This time, the idea worked and led to a full-page article in a major Chicago media outlet.

While it might not be as brilliant as the theory of relativity (which Einstein thought of a century ago this year while riding a bike), here at PCI we do know what it takes to make our client stories stand out in a competitive media landscape. Whether it’s an outside-the-box pitch, a compelling tweet or a provocative blog post, we pride ourselves on our creativity, persistence, resourcefulness… and recognizing a good idea, even if it doesn’t work the first time.

I’m pretty sure Einstein would approve. After all, he once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

Nothing insane about that.

Bob Gosman is a Senior Account Supervisor at Public Communications Inc. A former newspaper reporter, he now works with clients on a variety of topics from nature to medicine, and looks forward to teaching his son, Liam, how to ride a bike this summer.