The right PR strategy has the capacity to propel your brand into the peak of performance. But if your strategy is flawed or faulty you could end up with a disaster on your hands. Here are some pitfalls of PR that you should steer clear of.
Moving Too Fast
Sometimes PR teams are so excited about a campaign that they rush to launch. This can cause problems if thorough planning is not in place. Ensure that all variables surrounding the campaign have been fully explored and addressed before moving forward. Consider this approach when launching branding campaigns as well. Spend sufficient time conceptualizing and crafting the brand voice before unveiling it to the public.
Giving Up Too Soon
PR takes time. The results of a PR strategy rarely materialize immediately. And in some cases they don’t become evident until months or even years after the strategy has been implemented. Abandoning a campaign or strategy too soon may mean derailing any progress that is in the pipeline.
Allowing your PR strategy to become defunct is a major pitfall that must be avoided. This can happen if you fail to keep up with the inevitable market evolution. The world changes and so do the people in it; which means of course that their needs and desires also change and so do the methods that appeal to them. A few years ago for instance, press releases that were televised would suffice but today, in order to get the message out, they also need to be live streamed or posted to the brand’s social media and other digital platforms.
Crossing the Controversy Line
Your PR approach to controversial issues can quickly plunge your brand into disaster. Controversial issues tend to have prospective consumer split on multiple sides of the divide. Brands that pick a side have to be prepared to lose those customers who are leaning towards other sides of an issue.
Crossing the line when it comes to controversy can therefore have detrimental effects on a brand’s image and by extension the sales figures. To avoid crossing the controversy line, don’t rush into commenting on hot topics as they emerge. Allow yourself and your team time to explore the surrounding issues and implications before responding.
Silence on Issues That Impact Your Target Market
Although it is typically best to avoid taking a definitive stance on controversial issues, sometimes it is necessary to do so. A brand that stands firmly in favour of basic human rights and is vocal in its disapproval of violations will normally score high points across all demographics. And in a case like this any demography that they lose is likely to be too small in number to be significant. And of course, silence on issues like this may also negatively impact a brand’s image. Essentially therefore, PR teams must fully explore the issues and make strategic decisions.
Excluding a Demography
Brands with diverse target markets have to be especially careful to ensure that their PR strategies are inclusive. PR strategies that exclude some demographics may turn off potential customers who fall in that demography or are in solidarity with them.
This is one of the biggest mistakes in international PR. In order to be fully effective, a PR strategy needs to be consistent. With PR and marketing the phrase ‘out of sight out of mind’ rings true. If the target market only sees or hears of the brand occasionally, and other competing brands have consistent PR in place, they will lean towards the brand that is more visible to them.
In order to reap the most from your PR strategies you need to plan carefully and ensure that you avoid the mistakes that can derail your brand’s progress.