In my last post, I discussed three common PR mistakes:
- Having unrealistic expectations of PR
- Ignoring the advice of PR counsel
- “Believing your news releases.”
Here are four more mistakes.
Keeping PR on the “back-burner”
Most companies know they have to “do PR,” but often don’t allocate the time or money needed to do the job effectively.
Studies have shown that companies with a larger “share of discussion” than their competition become more successful. The discussion, the publicity often comes first. The success follows. So most companies really can’t afford to ignore PR or to relegate it to an untrained person.
The success of your company may require that PR be on the front burner. If it is not there now, move it there today.
Refusing to be media trained
Anyone who will interview with the media needs to be media trained.
Practicing some basic techniques and doing some mock interviews can make a world of difference. Oftentimes an outsider can help this process along.
Even veteran spokespeople sometimes have problems. Towards the end of his term, former President George W. Bush was asked what his greatest mistake was. He said he couldn’t think of anything, a response that struck many people as arrogant.
Soon afterwards he was asked the same question again and had a response. The second time was a charm, but many people only remember that first “nonresponse.”
Being erratic in PR activities
As a consultant, I have seen companies almost kill themselves to publicize a new product, only to “collapse” once the launch was over. These companies didn’t leverage the momentum they had generated to build an ongoing, sustained publicity program.
The result? A few months later, the company had to “re-introduce” itself when it had another product to announce. The company was repeatedly in start-up mode and remained in second place in its marketplace.
The moral of the story: avoid “stop-and-go” PR.
Being too narrow in your publicity activities
For many people, the publicity campaign means sending out the occasional news release.
That generally is not enough.
It’s true that PR people write news releases, but they do much more to generate publicity – everything from articles and product reviews to webinars and other presentations.
I formally analyzed publicity for a new client and its main competitor. My client had done a good job with its announcements. Its competitor got less coverage for its news, but maintained its visibility through contributed articles, product reviews, speaking engagements and other means. The result: the second company was perceived as the industry leader; my new client an “also-ran.”
Don’t limit yourself to barebones PR. Expand the scope of your program.
So there they are: seven common mistakes. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to avoid these errors. In so doing, you will definitely improve your PR program and probably help your company be more successful.