Public Relations is an essential part of every business content marketing plan. When executed correctly, it can launch your company into the media spotlight and generate awareness well beyond what paid advertising could.
PR professionals are equipped with a number of different tools that can generate interest in your company and its products. Of course, there are some simple PR tasks you can accomplish on your own if you have the confidence.
If you decided to go that route, though, remember that a few simple mistakes can ruin a brand's reputation a lot faster than the time and effort it took to build that credibility. Below are 3 classic PR mistakes, made by plenty of companies, that should be avoided.
Using corporate jargon.
Using terms that are specific to your industry probably makes sense to you but most journalists, and those outside the industry, will tune out.
Use everyday language when writing press releases and attach explanation sheets if the announcement topic is hard to understand. Remember that journalists receive a lot of pitches everyday, and they'll be more likely to write about your company if they understand the topic and find it interesting.
Steve Cody, managing partner of a strategic communications firm in New York, said he used to use sentences like this when he first began writing:
“Qliktech Announces New Salesforce Chatter Integration for the Qlikview Business Discovery Platform; Enables Collaborative Decision-making by Leveraging Chatter Connect to Deliver Social conversations to Qlikview Business Discovery Apps.”
It’s a good idea to avoid stuff like this.
Overestimating what is considered news.
The kicker here is to have a good idea of what your local and regional journalists consider a good story to be. Although you may think that your company’s every move is newsworthy, very few journalists are likely to agree.
The best way to judge what's newsworthy is to think of yourself as the reader. Is the story that you're pitching something that you'd want to read about, not knowing anything about the company? Keep in mind that reporters will become turned off if you send them press releases every other week. It's also very important to consider the subjects or industries that publications typically write about and tailor your articles to match.
Of course, not everything has to go to the journalists. Remember, your website and social media profiles give you the ability to communicate directly to your many audiences without the media filter. Plus, that simple PR is good for your SEO.
News, by definition, can be anything new, unique, interesting or useful. That means it can be as simple as:
Hiring a new employee
Signing a new contract for service
Winning an award
Launching a new service
Creating a new tip sheet or whitepaper
Any of those items can be featured in a short press release that you publish on your website.
Forgetting to proof your work.
Journalists tend to be sticklers for proper grammar, so a spelling error might be enough to put you on the bottom of their list. Even worse are errors-of-fact that could result in incorrect published information. Sending an error-free pitch may be the only thing that you are in control of, so make sure that it’s the best it can be.
Public Relations plays a helpful role in your overall content marketing strategy and in supporting your Inbound Marketing efforts. Dowload our Step-by-Step Guide to Inbound Marketing to learn more about how these components can work together to attract more prospects to your site.