Successful PR campaigns can define your brand both online and offline. But good PR and bad PR is separated only by a very fine line. Thousands of companies make the same mistakes and then wonder why they’re not getting any return on their investment.
These are the top three PR mistakes that are responsible for the majority of failed PR efforts.
PR Mistake #1 – Not Responding to the Public
The first mistake you can make is not responding to the general public in the right way. Refusing to comment in the face of negative press might be acceptable legally, but to the public you’ are essentially admitting your guilt. Statements from your company should be pointed and definitive.
Another example of a poor public response is to attack negative reviewers. Never face complaints by claiming the customer is mistaken or plain wrong. You’ll always look worse, regardless of whether you’re right. The key is to not get emotional and to refrain from getting into public disputes with people. Always take the high road.
Apologize for your mistakes, give clear answers to the media, and try to maintain a positive attitude when you’re in the public eye.
PR Mistake #2 – Failing to Understand What People are Saying About You
PR departments are responsible for managing your company’s reputation. The only way they can do this is by finding out what people are saying about you. Monitoring things like reviews and comments can reveal useful feedback to improve your products and services.
The goal isn’t to somehow suppress negative feedback. You need to embrace that negative feedback and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
Useful tip: Set up a Google Alerts notification for your company’s name and major products so that you are always in the know.
This is also vital to prevent any slander against you. Smear campaigns from competitors are not just damaging they’re illegal. Don’t underestimate the potential for this to happen to you.
PR Mistake #3 – Winging It
It’s amazing how so many companies claim to be concerned about their PR but don’t have a strategy. You need a documented PR strategy, including what you want to achieve, how you’re going to achieve it, and in what timeframe you want to achieve it.
Firm PR strategies are necessary because it’s the only way you can track your progress and understand whether you’re succeeding or failing.
If you already have a PR strategy that’s just the first step to a successful PR campaign. You need to schedule reviews every few weeks where you go back over that strategy and examine what you’ve done and whether you’re still on track. The strategy should be the heart of your PR department.
Conclusion – Succeeding with PR
Successful PR doesn’t mean you need to have a budget of thousands of dollars. Even small businesses can succeed with PR simply by adopting a strategy and approaching customers in the right way.