PR is an essential component of telling the story of your brand, positioning it in the best possible light, and increasing visibility and awareness through strategic media opportunities.
Earned media coverage, such as recommendations from independent journalists or bloggers, is considered to be one of the most credible sources of information in the eyes of consumers. In fact, research from the Institute of Public Relations found 67% of participants agreed.
A well-executed PR strategy can increase trust and credibility in your brand and your business, but done badly, can result in ineffective campaigns, or at worst, a total PR disaster.
With that said, here are some of the major PR pitfalls to avoid.
PR is most effective when it is working as part of a larger, business-wide strategy that complements existing objectives. Taking an ad-hoc approach to your PR campaign is setting yourself up for failure. Having a PR plan in place will assist you in defining your goals and identifying the best paths to achieving them, as well as establishing useful KPIs and timeframes.
One of the key skills of any seasoned PR practitioner is the ability to tell a story about your product, service or business. Storytelling is an artform, and when done correctly it builds a strong and long-lasting connection in the minds of your audience. However, for this to be truly effective, you must know who your audiences are, and meet them with the right message at the right time. Without this understanding of your target demographics, their preferred media, and their lifestyles, it is almost impossible to target the right areas.
Neglecting media relationships
Journalists are bombarded with pitches and stories every day, and a huge part of getting your story picked up by the right people is nurturing positive relations with those in the media. Developing an understanding of the publications you want to target, and what they are looking for is key to getting good results, and central to this is taking a collaborative approach with members of the media.
No crisis plan
No-one plans for disaster, but it does not hurt to have a strategy in place in the event that one occurs. It is not uncommon for brands to face a potential blip, and if there is no crisis communications plan in place, it can turn a minor issue into a full-blown predicament that is much harder to handle. For more on avoiding a PR storm, you can read our blog on the 5 cardinal sins of handling a PR crisis.
Not making the most of content
The rule of seven states that it takes on average seven mentions of your product or service before a consumer will take action, so it is in the best interests of your business to spread your message across as many platforms and types of content as possible. A balanced approach to PR will integrate your message across press releases, thought leadership, blogs and whitepapers to target different segments of the media, and your audience.
If you would like an informal chat about developing an effective PR strategy that elevates your brand, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0121 594 0712.