This blog originally appeared on the KCD / PR Bottom Line Blog.
PR can absolutely be a challenge and you will meet numerous obstacles on your way to increasing brand awareness. We all fail from time to time, but we keep at it because we know that PR works. But what if your PR appears to be striking out more so than not, and you haven’t seen any success? There may be some serious issues with your overall PR strategy and tactics that are causing your PR efforts to fail. We’re here to walk you through some of the most common mistakes and of course show you how to remedy them.
Know Your Audience
This seems like a no brainer, but after years of working with individuals and companies on their PR strategies, we’ve learned that you may not know your audience as well as you think. Understanding the ins and outs of your target demographic, what makes them tick, what they do for fun, where they shop, can highlight how you may be missing the mark with your current strategy. If you want to reach them, you have to find the most appropriate mediums to do so. What do they watch on TV? What magazines are they reading? Do they listen to the radio? Who are you really trying to reach?
Having an in-depth understanding of who your audience is will allow you to hone in on the most effective ways to reach them through media relations, inbound marketing, social media and more. If your PR efforts aren’t working, it’s likely because you’re not using the right keywords or targeting your audience through the most appropriate mediums.
Make it a Team Effort
A successful PR plan cannot be created in a vacuum. Understanding what is going on in every department of your organization, from sales to HR and R&D, can drastically change your strategies and tactics. Do you have a new product that your pushing to a new demographic? Does the sales team have some new key initiatives? Every executive should have a solid understanding of the PR strategies and how they are impacted by the rest of the business. Having group buy in should help to hone in on the details of your plan.
Pay Attention to the Details
The devil is in the details, especially when it comes to an effective PR strategy. This really comes into play with SEO, content creation, your website, keywords, etc. If you don’t have the right keywords, or even understand how your audience is looking for you, you’re not going to find them. Your website, blog, social media and more need to be peppered with keywords that will pull your audience in. Beyond keywords, if your website isn’t mobile optimized, you have zero chance of being found in Google due to the search engine’s new algorithm.
Make Sure You Have the Time
As with any sales or marketing initiative, public relations efforts take time, and a lot of it. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to media relations, content development, social media and more, your PR strategies and tactics are almost guaranteed to fall flat. This can be remedied by adjusting your PR plan to realistically fit within the time you and your team can dedicate to it, or you can outsource, which could have some serious pros for your company.
Focus on the Content
We’re going to sound like a broken record, but that’s a risk we’re willing to take. Content is king. In this digital age, a PR plan is essentially incomplete without some sort of content marketing plan. Whether it’s a company blog or bylined articles, content will make all the difference in trying to improve the effectiveness of your PR strategies.
Realistically, no PR plan is perfect. But there are most likely some glaring mistakes that you’re making or major holes in your plan that are causing you to fail. Make sure to stay on top of your progress by setting concrete and measurable goals for your plan and checking in on them as often as possible. Understanding what’s working and what’s not and tracking your progress will help to improve your PR strategies and tactics over time.
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