Public Relations: Why it’s kind of a big deal
We’re excited to announce that from now on, we’ll be releasing new training content every month – so be sure to keep an eye out!
This month, we’re taking a look at some of the biggest mistakes businesses make when it comes to their marketing, promotions and public relations. Read on for our advice on building awareness, credibility and interest for your company, product or service.
1) Not having a clear strategy
‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.’ – Benjamin Franklin
What do you actually want to achieve through your PR efforts? It’s impossible to develop an effective strategy if you don’t have any clearly defined goals. Once your goals are set, a strategic plan will be easier to formulate. Keep in mind though – marketing strategy is not something that is decided, set and left alone. Rather, it’s an ongoing process of tracking, measuring and recalibrating.
2) Not aligning with your brand or voice
A lot of business owners report feeling misunderstood when dealing with marketing agencies. They don’t often take the time to get know you, or understand your values. There are some questions we need to ask ourselves in order to discover our authentic voice. What is my mission? What are my values? Who is my audience? What inspired me to start this particular business?
It’s really important that the messages you send out to the public are aligned with your story and what you’re all about – otherwise, your voice won’t be heard by the people who ‘speak your language.’
3) Not understanding the different types of communication platforms
This mistake prevents business owners from tracking their ROI, or even making an ROI at all. Quite simply, they’re wasting time and money. Time spent learning how the different platforms work is time well spent, and if you don’t have time to spare – hiring a communications manager or agency is a worthwhile investment.
It’s also important to understand that the different platforms require vastly different approaches. For example, it’s a really terrible idea to take your latest press release and post it to a social network. Rewrite it without the jargon, as if you’re telling a friend about it.
4) Not knowing which social media platforms to use and why
One of the most important questions business owners need to ask themselves is, ‘where is my audience?’ Carefully consider the demographic(s) your business is aimed at, and think about where they go for information and entertainment.
The different forms of media can be broken down into 5 groups: Paid Media; Paid Online Media; Earned Media; Owned Media; and Shared Media.
Paid Media: Paid media is essentially advertising, and can include platforms such as point of sale, radio, billboard, print, newspapers, tv, magazines, and conferences.
Paid Online Media: Internet advertising includes platforms such as Google Adwords, YouTube ads, Facebook ads, Twitter ads, Facebook remarketing, Google remarketing, LinkedIn ads, and Instagram – just to name the major players. Facebook may have the best audience targeting of all advertising platforms and can be really helpful in ensuring you make the most of your advertising budget.
Earned Media: This is also known as publicity or media coverage, and encompasses a number of formats, including print, broadcast and social media. Earned media boosts an organisation’s credibility, because it operates through numerous trusted intermediaries. Anyone can pay for advertising, but it takes some hard work to earn publicity.
Shared Media: This is how people engage with your social media content through mentions, shares, and likes. This organic reach is fuelled by posting valuable content.
Owned Media: This is the content you create for your business, such as your website, blog, podcasts, webinars, videos and animations, as well as your business social media pages.
5) Selling, rather than connecting
Make sure you emphasise interaction in your social media posts. Facebook’s algorithm prioritises families, friends and groups, so rather than using your page simply to promote your business and sell your product or service – start conversations with your followers. Ask open-ended questions, educate, offer ideas, and always prioritise sharing meaningful, valuable content over selling.
6) Not understanding what journalists want
Working with the media is a powerful public relations tool. This is because journalists are experts in communications strategy, and hold the power to influence a large number of people with just a few words. They are story tellers – and it’s their job is to communicate to certain audiences, which look to them to filter out all the nonsense.
Understanding the needs of journalists will help you meet the needs of your business and stay relevant. Be aware that journalists will be thinking, ‘What’s the story? Why should I care? Why should I care NOW? And what’s in it for me and my audience?’
If you’re seeking expert advice on public relations, social media management, content writing and more – we’d love to hear from you!