Common PR fails

by Sarah

PR is a powerful tool for businesses to cement their reputations and grow awareness. And for fledgling businesses and start ups too, it's an often-affordable way to build a profile, increase support or raise funding.

It isn't unusual for smaller businesses to 'PR' themselves until they're able to appoint a professional to do this for them.

But, like any skill-set, it's easy to make mistakes, especially if the area in question is not your primary area of expertise.

Here are the slip-ups that every brand or business needs to avoid when dipping their toes in the water:

  • Not doing the groundwork: reading the target media, identifying the right journalists, understanding the community or social media channels. It's important to read, listen and learn.
  • Not thinking about the news value of any story. Is this really of interest or note?
  • Writing in sales or marketing speak. The hard sell is a real no no.
  • Not doing it regularly enough. The best results usually come as part of a long term plan. You might, for example, plan to produce one good story a month for media and write one piece of content a week for your blog.
  • Expecting immediate sales or phone calls from one piece of coverage. Think long term relationships and credibility. You wouldn't expect a huge contract from someone you'd just met at a networking event, would you?
  • Not remembering key values. You need to know what you stand for as a business, what you offer and your business or brand personality. Don't damage your credibility or people's trust in you with inappropriate or irrelevant material or comment.

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1 Comment

More PR mistakes

Hi Sarah

I agree with what you say, but I'll add another two errors which I have seen happen quite frequently. The first is not getting to the news quickly enough. Journalists don't want to read half a page of rambling before they get to the news point of the release - business owners trying to go it alone should look for some examples of good press releases before they put fingers to keyboard.

Second, I've known irritated business owners to harangue their local newspaper if their news release doesn't appear. It's a surefire way to guarantee that their next release goes straight into the bin!

Not for nothing do we spend many years honing our media skills as PRs....

best wishes,
Janet

Miss Write Ltd

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