Why are some PR programs more successful than others, and what should
you do when faced with a media relations program that just isn’t gaining
Here are a few common PR mistakes.
You rely on blasting press releases rather than telling a story.
“PR” isn’t shorthand for “press release.” A newswire spam strategy might
have a temporary effect on search engine optimization, but it doesn’t
work over the long term.
Your message isn’t memorable or different.
Not every company or product is original, but nearly anyone can craft a distinctive, relevant story.
Your story doesn’t ring true.
Authenticity counts. If the
customer experience doesn’t live up to the claims, you’ll be lucky if a
lack of coverage is the result. And remember, journalists and bloggers
are customers, too.
You’re drowning in jargon or insidery factoids.
packaging of the message is at fault. Buzzwords are threatening to take
over communications, especially in tech PR. It’s best to think twice
before stringing together empty phrases like “unique, industry-leading
[READ: The most overused word in business, allegedly]
Your approach is impersonal.
It may seem ironic, but as
traditional media shrinks, and email and marketing automation technology
gets more sophisticated, the personal approach, whether to customers or
media, becomes more important. One thoughtful email is worth 100 spam
Your spokesperson is a dud.
He’s caught in the weeds, too
commercial, or overly cautious, or perhaps he’s well intentioned, yet
disorganized or over-prepared. (Yes, there is such a thing.) The best
brand spokesperson is engaged, prepared, and able to distill complicated
information into digestible points and memorable examples.
You want a quick fix.
It pays to act as a background resource for
journalists and bloggers, even if your words don’t find their way into
the story. Relationship building is just as important in media relations
as it is in sales or business development.
Dorothy Crenshaw is CEO and creative director of Crenshaw Communications.
She has been named one of the public relations industry’s 100 Most
Powerful Women by PR Week. A version of this story first appeared on her blog.