There’s an old cartoon that showed the owner of a Fortune Teller shop putting up an Out of Business sign. One person walking by sees the sign and says to his friend: “You’d think they would have known.”

Every now and again, I have a client who sorta-kinda assumes that we know everything that’s going on inside their company–or industry–and never bothers to share key developments with us. Hmm. Assuming someone should have known is never a strong or even useful assumption, and it can severely handicap your PR effort.

The solution? Be sure to keep the PR agency well informed of company news and developments including goals, marketing initiatives, and so on.  PR is your contact with the media and is constantly working on developing stories and talking to media personnel about developing trends.  If PR is not supplied with all the latest information, stories that could be obtained can be easily missed.

Of course, every good PR firm does their best to keep up, by reading the trades and blogs, or by attending trade shows and such, and by making phone contacts or exchanging emails with clients. But there’s nothing quite like the latest insider product or company news, the skinny, if you will. Remember, PR is on your side and, unfortunately, we’re not mind readers.

The Roman philosopher Seneca nailed what I’m talking about when he said, circa the mid-1st century, AD: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” So, always keep your PR team in the know because they know the best opportunities. And the more you tell them, the better prepared they’ll be to take advantage of any openings. If you want to try plain ol’ luck, there are plenty of States willing to sell you a lottery ticket.

Be prepared is a much better philosophy. Just ask any Boy Scout.

by Sara Callahan