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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mistakes to avoid in a PR campaign


There are many ways to make a publicity campaign successful.  Additionally, there are numerous mistakes that can be made.  Mistakes can be easy to make when you are new to PR and marketing.  Below are a few common PR mistakes that can be easily avoided. 

Not making a free offer.  When selling a product or an idea (in this case, lets say we’re issuing a press release), it is important to offer something free in order to elicit a response.  A few examples of free offers are informational / how-to manuals, newsletters, coupons, brochures, and podcast subscription information.  Because your free offer is placed within a news story, readers may trust it more than a standard advertisement. 

Relying ONLY on a news release.  There are many resources that you can make use of in a publicity campaign.  This may seem obvious, but there are companies that use their entire marketing budget on creating one television commercial or releasing one magazine ad.  In order to maximize your marketing efforts, you need to reach the public through many different platforms.  Submitting your press release to different media outlets is not enough.  You must continue to connect with your audience social media, email, newsletters, and public speaking events.

Not learning how to spin a story.  This statement of advice is relevant during crisis situations.  PR experts know how to “spin” stories in the media by taking negative information and making it sound positive.  You will see this occur often in politics.  To avoid this mistake, try to predict bad situations ahead of time and think of responses that will maintain your positive reputation. 

Failing to connect with the public consistently.  You must continuously remind the public that you exist.  When they think of an issue relating to your service, you must be the first thing that they think of.  “As soon as you succeed with one area of your campaign, begin immediately with another area.  Contact other publications.  Write a new article.  Give a new speech.  Run a new ad.  Do what you can to keep the media wave going.  The consistent practice will ensure your place above the competition,” says journalist Roscoe Barnes.  These days, social media is a great way for recurrent communication.

There are many more mistakes to avoid.  However, with awareness, research and planning, you may not have to learn about them from experience.