@Stephen: Brands should have reasonable expectations. I'm looking at this from a content marketing perspective, not a PR/newsjacking one. Brand journalists should set an editorial calendar that aligns with the marketing plan and get some quick wins on the board. Show results and remember done is better than perfect. Three pretty good pieces of content in the first 30 days is better than one perfect piece – or none.
Also, brands should expect an evolution over time. Let your team experiment and fail in safe ways. Focus more on telling a good story, giving away more valuable information than you are comfortable with, and connecting on a values level. You want your audience to feel that they know you and like you, because people buy stuff from people they like.