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.
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, Limitations, and Metrics of Success
It is essential to set a fixed right at the beginning of any PR campaign. The critical questions that need to be answered include; what do you hope to achieve? Do you want to boost sales? Once you have chosen a goal, you should also know what your budget is and whether you need a deadline for what you are trying to achieve. When you’ve figured all that out, you will give yourself a focused metric to measure your success.
2) Know the audience
You need to understand the audience that you are trying to reach. You should take some time out to establish which customer persona you are focusing on to generate media coverage for your brand/product. If you do not establish that, then you will not get the outcome that you want.
3) Choose the right platform
Figuring out the platform that you want to project their message on is also very important. For example, if you are trying to reach the social media generation, it would be ideal to focus your attention on getting your message across to all the major social media platforms. If you want to reach out to the older generation, then you should focus on TV, radio, newspapers, or magazines.
4) Find the creative angle
Regardless of what the story is, in order 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 you want to get your audience to read about your product, brand or service.
5) Distribute wisely
Once you have figured out the angle that you want to use to attract your audience, you need to distribute your media to publications that are relevant to your industry. There is no point in sending information to media outlets that are not in your niche or are not interested because it would be a complete waste of time.
6) Build relationships with journalists
Building relationships with journalists during your PR campaign is one of the best ways to have the right people talk about your 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 provide other services, including: creating a full press kit, providing a PR database of over 1 million journalists, and distributing press releases online, and providing expert advice. By using public relations agencies like Pressfarm, you can avoid the common mistakes 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 you need to understand is the media outlet that you are trying to pitch to. If you do not do the proper research, you may not achieve the goals you’ve set.
You need to research the right journalists for your brand. You need to find the perfect person to get the exact point that you 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 this person would be interested in what you have 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) Share 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 one of two 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 in your industry doing the same thing. So, if smaller companies try to self-promote themselves without offering a creative story angle, their product updates will probably be overlooked for more prominent names because the fact is, bigger names equals 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, you 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 you don’t get a reply. However, if you were to send a follow-up email every day at every hour, journalists would not appreciate that at all.
Journalists like feeling like they are sought after and needed. It’s easy to make the mistake of sending out a mass email blast about your news because you think that if the sheer volume of media outlets you are sending to will result in results. In reality, it is quite the opposite. It may take some effort, but adding personal touches related to that individual media outlet will get you 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 your foot in the door. However, there is a way to create an angle that will have a better result. There is a fine line between too much and too little information. Journalists should not be bored while reading you pitch. Additionally, they 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. Nevertheless, they are not the only media outlets out there, and rather than solely focusing on big outlets, you should also reach out to local media outlets in your area as well as 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, you need to take some things into consideration when trying to create an effective media strategy. It is imperative not to take these tips for granted. Ultimately, the right PR strategy contains the right combination of public relations, advertising, and marketing.