For companies and startups to succeed, they need to have a successful PR strategy. However, the path to securing positive public perception is a long process. When it comes to PR, it is crucial to understand the project/client’s PR goals and create a strategy that serves the purpose. The thing that can be an issue is the fact that shortcuts are often taken to try and achieve a goal, but that can result in a poorly thought out strategy and a rushed effort, which can be a waste of time, money, and effort for both the project/client and the PR agency.
In this article, we will look at:
- What is an effective PR campaign?
- Common PR mistakes
What is an effective PR campaign?
An effective public relations campaign should have a clear objective, such as raising awareness of a product, informing the public of company news, etc. There are certain tips to creating an effective PR campaign.
1) Set a Goal, its Limitations, and Metric of Success
It is essential to set a fixed right at the beginning of any PR campaign. The critical questions that need to be asked include; what do companies hope to achieve? Do they want to boost sales? Etc. Once they have chosen a goal, they should also know that their budget is and whether there should be a deadline for what they are trying to achieve. When they figure all that out, they will give themselves a focused metric to measure their success.
2) Know the audience
Companies need to figure the audience that they are trying to reach. They should take some time out to establish which customer persona they are trying to focus on to gain most coverage for their brand/product. If they do not establish that, they will not get the outcome that they want.
3) Choose the right platform
Figuring out the platform that they want to project their message is also very important. For example, if they are trying to reach the social media generation, it would be ideal for focusing their attention on getting their message across to all the major social media platforms. If they want to reach out to the older generation, they should focus on TV, radio, newspapers, or magazines.
4) Find the creative angle
Regardless of what the story is, to get attention, it needs to be creative—much like any form of writing, having the perfect hook to draw readers in is very important, especially if companies want to get their audience to read about their product, brand or service.
5) Distribute wisely
Once companies have figured out the angle that they want to attract their audience, they need to distribute their media to publications relevant to their industry. There is no point in sending information to media outlets that are not in their niche or are not interested because it would be a complete waste of time.
6) Build relationships with journalists
Building relationships with journalists during their PR campaign is one of the best ways to have the right people talk about their company/brand. Instead of just sending their story to a generic news desk, companies should identify the names of journalists that write about topics related to their industry and are also well known in them to achieve the best results.
Creating an effective public relations strategy can be challenging, which is why public relations agencies like Pressfarm exist. They know what they are doing when it comes to building relationships with media outlets, but they will also do other tasks like; creating a full press kit, providing a PR database of over 75,000 journalists, and distributing the press releases online, and provide expert advice. By using public relations agencies like Pressfarm, companies can avoid the common mistakes that are made in PR that are listed below.
Common mistakes in PR
1) No research or understanding
Not doing the proper research or having the appropriate understanding can indeed hinder any company’s PR efforts. Something that companies need to understand is the media outlet that they are trying to pitch to. If they do not do the proper research, they may not achieve the goal that they want.
Companies need to research the right journalists for them. They need to find the perfect person to get the exact point that they want to get across and to the right audience. Also, if they were to pitch a topic that is not related to what the journalist writes about, there is no way they would be interested in what the company has to say.
The same goes for not hitting the right publications. If there is a lack of research done, the outreach efforts will be reduced and filled with gaps, which wastes the company’s time, the journalist’s/publication’s time and will only add to negativity about the company.
2) Spread no-news or too much news
This might be harsh to hear, but not all news about a business is newsworthy. Media outlets want to drive traffic to their story, so they need something attractive to set them apart from others. Companies make some mistakes when it comes to trying to figure out what news to put out there include; self-promotion and generic and common angles.
There is a very high possibility that there are multiple companies that are doing the same thing. So, if smaller companies try to self-promote themselves without a creative aspect to them, their product updates will probably be overlooked for more prominent names because the fact is, bigger names equal more traffic.
As mentioned before, creativity is vital. So, generic and common angle stories that people have heard before will not drive traffic or shares. So, to gain coverage, companies need to try and achieve or accomplish something that other companies have not.
3) No media relations
A big part of public relations is developing relationships with media outlets. A common mistake that companies make is not spending time to develop relationships to create a mutually beneficial situation. Having a media outlet’s contact information and communicating with them without previous conversation not related to getting journalists to help them is not enough. Most companies forget about the basics and will bombard journalists with all kinds of non-sense and expect instant replies and coverage. Some other mistakes companies may make include; too many follow-ups, cold calling, and mass email blasts.
When it comes to PR, following up with media outlets is very important. However, there is such a thing as doing too much. Once an email pitch or press release has been sent out, it is customary to follow up after a few days if companies do not reply. However, if they were to send a follow-up email every day at every hour, journalists do not appreciate that at all.
Journalists like feeling like they are sought after and needed. Companies make a mistake by sending out a mass email blast about their news because they think that if the sheer volume of media outlets they are sending to will result in results, it is quite the opposite. It may take some effort, but adding personal touches related to that individual media outlet will get companies better results.
4) Lack of a pitch
Once the research has been done, the next part is creating a pitch. The pitch is essential because it is what will get companies in the door. However, there is a way to create an angle that will have a better result. There needs to be a fine line between too much and too little information. Journalists should be bored while reading it, but should not have to do additional research to create their piece.
5) Targeting only top media
Big media outlets will provide high traffic, high referrals, more business, and increased brand awareness. But, they are not the only media outlets out there, and rather than solely focusing on big ones, companies should also reach out to local media outlets in their area and smaller ones. If there is positive traction, more prominent media outlets are more likely going to take on the news.
Companies can make many other mistakes in the PR world, but the key is learning from them and creating an effective PR strategy.
Public relations is essential for any company to get the word out about their brand. However, some things need to be considered when trying to create an effective media strategy. It is imperative not to take it for granted because for companies to be successful, there should be a right blend between public relations, advertising, and marketing.