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Are You Making These PR Mistakes?

personal branding

Richard Branson once said: “Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.”

The simple phrase: “a good PR story” - holds the secret to a successful PR campaign. Yet I regularly come across entrepreneurs building amazing businesses, but failing to capitalize on the opportunities PR presents.

Below are three PR mistakes to avoid:

1. No clear key message

The more targeted your message, the better. Write as if you’re talking to one person. What are their pain points? Ever read an article and thought: “Wow that sounds just like me.” Emotional resonance goes a long way in building the coveted know, like, and trust factor. Keep language simple. In a crowded market, your message and intended audience needs to be crystal clear.

2. Pitching products, not people or a solution

Always find the human angle to your content. It draws people in. A recent client wanted to raise $30K on Kickstarter to promote her film about mental illness. Instead of pitching media with the unoriginal news of the Kickstarter campaign (hundreds go live daily). I focused on the taboo of mental illness; with hard-hitting statistics on the devastating effects the illness has on sufferers and their families. I sent the pitch to journalists during Mental Health Week when I knew it would be a hot topic. The resulting global media coverage helped boost awareness of the Kickstarter campaign. Helping my client surpass her fundraising goal. What’s the human element behind your product or service?

3. Not jumping on relevant industry news

Newsjacking means to pitch your brand or service to media when relevant industry news breaks. Journalists will be looking for comments from experts. Try to stay on top of the events and key dates in your industry by setting up Google alerts. There are lots of fun holidays throughout the year to capitalize on. I found from a quick online search: January 15 is National Strawberry Ice-cream Day and August 13 is Left Handers Day (only about 10% of the population is left handed). Random as they may sound, if you’re the maker of gourmet ice-cream or the manufacturer of products for lefties; relevant journalists will be more inclined to cover your story on those days – so take advantage! 

Creativity knows no bounds in PR. Develop a clear message, focus on making an emotional connection and keep your ear to the ground for relevant industry news. You’ll have loyal, raving fans in no time.

Marielle Legair is a Public Relations Specialist. Visit her website to download a copy of her personal branding eBook or follow her on Twitter and Instagram for more updates.