Public Relations is a necessity for those who want to keep up with consumers. Unfortunately, most businesses attempting to jump on the PR bandwagon are falling short due to a lack of understanding of effective tactics. Whether you’re ready to hire outsourced PR counsel to take charge, or simply want to update your PR and marketing efforts, it’s important to develop a strategic plan that will compel consumers to come to you. We’ve put together a few of the most common mistakes to avoid in do-it-yourself marketing and PR campaigns so you can be sure to optimize your future efforts!
PR is not a light switch
In order for a PR campaign to be effective, it must be well-rounded, consistent and strategic. We are often approached by prospective clients who have managed to be quoted by The Wall Street Journal (an impressive accomplishment, to be sure!), but do not understand why they have not yet received any more phone calls than usual. Businesses need to take the time to develop a strategic plan that establishes channels of communication and key messages to convey to target audiences. Only once a brand has taken the time to establish a solid platform to work from can an effective PR plan begin to achieve the desired results.
Just as you cannot expect plants to grow if you don’t water them, businesses cannot expect to gain a loyal following if they fail to tend to their marketing efforts. One of the most common mistakes seen with public relations campaigns is inconsistency. A business creates social media profiles and begins posting content, then a month later – crickets. Social media is not a forum to occasionally shout something at your audience; it is a platform to engage with your audience! Whether your campaign involves sending out a monthly newsletter, running a contest to increase engagement or polling followers on your social media accounts, make sure you’re doing it regularly. The key to growing a supportive following is to create a social media strategy that consistently provides your target audience with what they want.
It’s not one and done
Many businesses fail to capitalize on momentum by concluding PR efforts after one campaign. Why stop there? Create a new campaign by utilizing different social media strategies, targeting a new audience or promoting a new product. Don’t be afraid to build off of old campaigns. Just because you don’t have a new product to offer doesn’t mean you can’t create a second phase and expand previous ideas or offers you’ve already promoted. The important thing is to continue to provide your audience with the information they need.
Relevance and substance is key
Get to know who your audience is and serve them accordingly. Users of your dating website probably don’t want to hear about the latest dog trends, but they might love to know about your next singles event. Make sure the content you provide is relevant to your target audience and offers them something of interest. Your campaigns should never be all about you – but rather make customers feel like you’re all about them.
Use your campaigns to engage with prospective customers, by offering them a discount for liking a page or providing them with a few tips through an ebook or webinar. People need to be told what to do, and they are generally more willing to participate when they are incentivized by something of value. Offers are the perfect tool to provide prospects with something useful, while also allowing you to obtain their information for future interactions.
So, no more of this on-again, off-again nonsense. Create a strategic plan, stick to it and watch your PR and marketing efforts pay off. Remember, if you’re not paying attention to your campaign, why would anyone else?
If you’re a foreigner to the world of public relations, everyday jargon can easily be lost on you. Don’t worry we won’t judge, being new to any industry has its challenges. Our PR Glossary covers all of the basic lingo, in addition to strategies and tactics used by PR professionals daily – think of it as your personal cheat sheet. So go on, download our free glossary and become a PR scholar!