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.

If you’d like to implement PR with