When it comes to starting a business, public relations (PR) should rank highly in your list of priorities. Public relations teams help startups gain traction in their target industry by connecting brands with their audience, building credibility, and effectively telling a story. These brand stories act as the backbones of budding companies, given that they introduce new clientele to the brand.
With a PR strategy’s conversion-boosting properties in mind, the information you release to the public to be concise and impactful. To avoid PR disasters and keep your new business afloat, keep these common PR mistakes in mind as you head out into the entrepreneurial arena.
How can lousy PR affect your brand?
PR disasters are like wildfires—they spread quickly and set your credibility up in flames. Companies and brands are likely to face criticism and backlash from time to time. However, a business owner’s ability to handle tumultuous situations and perform damage control successfully will depend on their ability to bounce back. Too much bad publicity can result in the loss of loyal customers, advertising opportunities, and sponsors, creating the perfect storm for a business’s downfall.
How to harness the power of social media in your PR strategy
Having your social media and publicity team on the same wavelength is crucial for brand management. It establishes consistency across the board and creates the perfect opportunity to reach a broader audience. While your PR approach will likely differ from your social media strategy, the two work hand-in-hand in creating the picture-perfect brand story that encapsulates your vision and represents your business’s core values.
Utilize hashtags and online social media campaigns to merge public relations and social media into an unstoppable surge of positive publicity and outreach.
Six common PR mistakes
Should you take a sharp turn down bad-publicity lane, you’ll need to respond, not react. If you’re wondering how you can insulate your business from PR disasters, consider following the steps below.
Underestimating the power of public relations
One of the most devastating and most avoidable PR mistakes startup companies make is neglecting to develop a PR strategy. There’s a common misconception that new companies should worry less about PR and more about brand building. What that notion fails to recognize is that PR and branding go hand in hand—acting as a foundation for your startup.
Jumping the gun
Another common mistake small companies make is coming out, guns-a-blazing, only to burn out quickly by wasting time and resources on unattainable agendas. Understanding how and who to approach is crucial in brand building.
Should you set your sights too high, you may find your company being rejected by the biggest names in the industry over and over again. Manage your expectations and research more local, lesser-known journalists who can grow along with your newfound success.
Along with strategic collaborations and expectations comes strategic spending. While some companies make the mistake of under-utilizing PR teams, others spend too much too soon on shaky market strategies, only to end up drowning in a sea of unnecessary debt.
That said, you’ll need to toe this fine line with caution. Remember, PR is crucial and spending is unavoidable, but having a firm grasp on what is and isn’t dispensable for your startup is key in running a successful business.
Losing your story
PR mavens reiterate the importance of storytelling for a reason. It connects clients and creates an interpersonal relationship that is crucial for brand building. Often brands try to push out as much content as possible when it’s much more effective to prioritize quality over quantity.
Sometimes a story just isn’t newsworthy, meaning it may be time to accept the harsh reality that one attention-grabbing article is better than five mediocre ones. With the right time and resources funneled into an article, social media post, or blog post, you can pique your target market’s interest and incentivize consumers. Manufacturing content on an assembly line run by disinterested writers will only congest your site with less-than-stellar content.
While it may seem like startup companies need not worry about PR, the opposite is true. New businesses that manage and maintain PR teams effectively have much better growth opportunities. So forget what you’ve been told and round up the team. Quality PR is the foundation to any successful business venture.