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A baseball player doesn’t just step to the plate and hoist the bat to his shoulder, hoping to knock a 95 mile-a-hour fastball into the upper deck.

That moment (and hopefully the contact between bat and ball) is the result of endless hours of preparation. Yankee great Roger Maris first crystallized this thought, distilled in the caption in the photo. Disclaimer: I conceived of and wrote this post before finding the pic.

Similarly, when we take on new projects, we can’t just throw something together in an afternoon and start working the phones. Success – in our wonderful world of PR – is the result of research, asking questions, and a lot of listening and critical thinking.

It’s also the product of collaboration, on behalf of the PR person and the client. It takes time, dedication and a willingness to experiment to find a winning formula.

They say anything worth doing is worth doing well. Preparation is usually the defining factor between success and something less.

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