Working with a public relations company is one of the best ways of boosting awareness of your brand, but PR professionals are not without their fair share of bad habits. Promoting a company’s brand is a huge undertaking that requires a lot of trust, but no-one is going to trust you if your PR company wastes time, mismanages information and overlooks important details.
Whether you’re a small business that offers restaurant PR or work with a communications agency, every PR business will be guilty of falling for these common public relations pitfalls at least some of the time. Here are some of the bad habits that PR companies should avoid at all costs.
Manually Writing Reports
Feeding back information to the client is an important part of public relations. Gathering information and presenting it in a concise way so that the client will understand, helps you demonstrate the hard work you’ve carried out, as well as give them a better knowledge of how their business is developing. However, manually creating reports with this information on wastes valuable time that could be better spent creating strategies and executing them.
Companies such as Vuelio, Trendkite and many others provide software that can automatically catalogue your progress and present it in an easy to understand format, saving time and removing the possibility of mistakes.
Forgetting About Relationships
The key to great public relations is a healthy list of contacts and relationships with different publishers. The more people that you keep in contact with, the more options you will have when it comes to marketing a client’s brand.
If you’re not reading your contact’s emails or ignoring them, then they’re more than likely to give you the same treatment. Losing contacts can severely reduce the impact of your promotional email campaigns, so it’s important that you maintain relationships.
This could even mean sending a courtesy email now and again to keep your contacts happy.
Staying Too Safe
Caution is always appreciated, but playing it too safe could stifle the development of your client’s brand. Sending press releases exclusively to large publications might seem like a safe bet, but you should first consider the audience and determine whether you’ll be able to attract potential leads.
A magazine or publication may seem niche or have a poor readership, but if it caters to the target audience of your client, then it’s worth taking the risk and reaching out to them with press releases. Big publications can guarantee exposure, but they can’t guarantee exposure to the right people.
Neglecting The Numbers
Nowadays, PR is driven by analytics, and these analytics can be used to show how hard you’re working. Your clients are going to want to know that they’re getting their money’s worth from your work.
Without a clear goal and evidence of progress, your client will be left in the dark, and they’re not going to want to extend their contract with you. Using numbers to illustrate growth and brand awareness can give your clients the confidence they need to invest in your services.
Drowning In Solutions
It’s always helpful to have options when it comes to solving a problem, but the ability to act upon challenges and remedy them is much more important.
This goes back to the idea of keeping too safe. Of course, there are going to be multiple outcomes that you want to consider when implementing a particular strategy, but planning a course of action for every single eventuality of every single problem could waste precious time.
Remember, people hire PR experts because they trust them to make the hard decisions so that they don’t have to. The last thing a client wants is a boatload of choice, especially if they aren’t familiar with marketing. Provide clients with one solid recommendation, and if they disagree with you, discuss an alternative.
All of these are very small oversights that can have a big impact on the way you carry out your PR. Always be sure to properly present your progress and stay in touch with clients and contacts to keep both of them reassured and demonstrate how capable you are with someone else’s brand.