Richard Branson once said: “Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.” I couldn’t agree more. PR undoubtedly is the #1 way to quickly grow a business. Yet I regularly come across founders building amazing businesses, but failing to capitalize on the opportunities PR presents. Below are PR mistakes to stay clear of.
Common PR Mistakes to Avoid
No clear key message
Your target customer should be clear. The more granular your message the better. Write as if you’re talking to one person. What are their pain points? Ever read an article and thought: “Wow that sounds just like me.” Emotional resonance goes a long way in building trust. Keep language simple. Think Donald Trump. Actually don’t, but you get the point. In a crowded market, your message needs to be crystal clear.
Pitching products, not people or a solution
Always find the human angle to your content. It draws people in. A client wanted to raise $30K on Kickstarter to promote her film about mental illness. Instead of leading with the unoriginal news about the launch of the Kickstarter campaign (hundreds go live daily). I instead crafted a pitch to media about the taboo of mental illness with hard-hitting statistics about the devastating effects the illness has on sufferers and their families. I sent the pitch to journalists during Mental Health Week when I knew they’d be covering the topic. I was able to secure global media coverage. Not only was it an interesting story with a strong human element, it was well-timed. The high profile media exposure helped my client beat her $30k Kickstarter target. What’s the human element behind your product or service?
Not jumping on relevant industry news
Newsjacking means to pitch your brand or service to media when news breaks in your industry. Journalists will likely be looking for experts for comment. Try to stay on top of the events in your industry by setting up Google alerts. Some fun ones I found from a quick online search: January 15 is National Strawberry Ice-cream Day and August 13 is Left Handers Day (only about 10% of the population is left handed). Random as they may sound, if you’re the maker of gourmet ice-cream or the manufacturer of products for lefties relevant journalists will be more inclined to cover your story on those days – so take advantage!
Creativity knows no bounds in PR. Develop a clear message, focus on making an emotional connection with your customers and keep your ear to the ground for relevant industry news. You’ll have loyal raving fans in no time.
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