I think as PR bods we are all probably aware of this but here are the top three PR activities which don’t work anymore – and send us all into that 'head banging' moment! As small businesses using PR to help promote their business, these three are certainly worth keeping in mind.
- sending out a mass press release
If you had a news story in the past you were very likely to write it up as a press release and send it out to journalists as a mass e-mail. This traditional method has not worked for an age, but still PR companies will do it. If you want individual coverage, send a short e-mail to your target journalists explaining the uniqueness of your news and why their readers would be interested.
Even better, create a campaign with your blog and social media channels. Create a video which brings your story to life. Add in an animation. Create some wicked written content. Build a story. Storytelling provides value to the reporter, blogger or media outlet.
There is a proviso to this as, on occasion, a press release will work and bring you a load of coverage – but this will be when the story within the release is interesting, shows incredible results – particularly financial, is quirky, is clear and is of value to the publications’ audience.
- Not understanding the blogger’s or journalist’s audience
Just pushing your product, service or expertise will never work. Take time to follow the blogger or journalist and really understand what they write about and why. Work out how they like to be contacted and don’t call or chase them endlessly. Twitter is a great resource to investigate for journalists and bloggers.
- ignoring a crisis
It is amazing how many businesses, large and small, ignore a crisis. Think about the small food outlet who does not respond to a local media report concerning their hygiene, or who does not respond to a raft of negative social media reviews. This obviously goes right through to large businesses who may have better processes in place, but can be too slow to react.
Crisis communication is a fine balance and sometimes, choosing to do nothing works but ignoring the crisis itself is always dangerous.