6 Common PR Mistakes Budding Entrepreneurs Make (And How To Avoid Them)
When it comes to starting a business, public relations (PR) should be high on your list of priorities. PR teams help startups gain a foothold in their target industries by connecting brands with their audiences, building credibility, and effectively telling a story. These brand stories form the backbone of aspiring businesses as they add new customers to the brand.
With the conversion-boosting properties of a PR strategy in mind, the information you provide to the public should be precise and effective. To avoid PR disasters and keep your new business alive, these common PR mistakes should be kept in mind as you venture into the corporate world.
How can lousy PR affect your brand?
Public relations disasters are like forest fires – they spread quickly and set your credibility on fire. Companies and brands are confronted with criticism and backlash from time to time. However, a business owner's ability to deal with turbulent situations and successfully perform damage control depends on their ability to recover. Too much bad publicity can result in the loss of loyal customers, advertising opportunities, and sponsors, and create the perfect storm for a company's downfall.
How to Use the Power of Social Media in Your PR Strategy
For brand management, it is critical that your social media and advertising team are on the same wavelength. It creates consistency across the board and is the perfect opportunity to reach a wider audience. While your approach to PR is likely to be different from your social media strategy, the two work hand in hand to create the beautiful brand story that sums up your vision and represents your company's core values.
Use hashtags and online social media campaigns to merge public relations and social media into an unstoppable surge in positive publicity and reach.
Six common PR mistakes
When you make a sharp downward turn, you have to react, not react. If you're wondering how to protect your business from public relations disasters, follow these steps.
Underestimate the power of public relations
One of the most devastating and avoidable public relations mistakes startups make is neglecting to develop a public relations strategy. There is a common misconception that new businesses should care less about PR than branding. What this term does not recognize is that PR and branding go hand in hand – as the basis for your startup.
Jump the gun
Another common mistake small businesses make is coming out with guns blazing only to burn out quickly, wasting time and resources on unreachable goals. Understanding how and who to turn to is critical to branding.
If you aim too high, your company may get rejected time and time again by the biggest names in the industry. Manage your expectations and research more local, lesser-known journalists who can grow with your newfound success.
Strategic expenses go hand in hand with strategic collaborations and expectations. While some companies make the mistake of underutilizing PR teams, others spend too much too soon on shaky market strategies to drown in a sea of unnecessary debt.
Even so, you need to be careful with this fine line. Remember that PR is vital and spending is inevitable. However, knowing exactly what is and what is not expendable for your startup is key to running a successful business.
Lose your story
Public relations experts reiterate the importance of storytelling for a reason. It connects customers and creates an interpersonal relationship that is critical to brand building. Often times, brands try to get as much content out as possible when it is much more effective to put quality over quantity.
Sometimes a story is just out of date, which means it's time to accept the harsh reality that one attention-grabbing article is better than five mediocre ones. With the right time and resources flowing into an article, social media post, or blog post, you can generate interest in your target market and create incentives for consumers. By producing content on the assembly line run by uninterested writers, your website will only be cluttered with less than outstanding content.
While it looks like startup companies don't have to worry about PR, the opposite is true. New companies that effectively manage and maintain PR teams have much better opportunities to grow. So, forget what you were told and round off the team. Quality PR is the basis for a successful business.