PR

PR time wasters: 5 PR do’s and don’ts to help you get ahead in 2024

- December 26, 2023 4 MIN READ

 

The PR landscape is always evolving. At The PR Hub we regularly evaluate how we get the most out of our clients’ budgets, are working as strategically as possible, and, of course, delivering results.

Whether you have your feet firmly planted in the ‘DIY’ camp or have chosen to stick to your strengths and work with an external partner that specialises in this area, it’s worth noting these five common failings, and tips to get ahead.

5 PR fails and their antidotes

1. DON’T pump out press releases on everything

We’ve come a long way from the press release as the primary key deliverable and metric of success in PR.

Media releases still have their place where there are quality news announcements to make with information of interest to your target audience or of use to you as a business. But distributing them for the sake of justifying ‘PR’ or thinking they’ll help get you noticed? A huge no-no. You’ll get noticed, but for all the wrong reasons!


TIPS: Write and send releases as a way to formalise big news announcements (e.g. an event launch, capital raise, merger or acquisition or senior hire) – journalists will appreciate having the information in one place.

If the news is not as time-sensitive, consider writing a release that hooks into a broader news theme or trend, where you can blend or leverage your company news with an opinion or valuable insight into the state of play in your industry.

2. DON’T ‘spray and pray’ in the hope that something lands

How many emails do you get a day, dozens? Even hundreds? So spare a thought for the Inbox of a journalist, editor, or producer before you hit Send! They are bombarded every day with hopeful pitches and messages from businesses wanting coverage.

Adam Bub, Head of Commercial Media at Pinstripe Media (publisher of Kochie’s Business Builders) shared some terrific insights on this topic when we chatted on my podcast, Influence Unlocked, earlier this year.


“A misplaced apostrophe makes me die inside!” he joked, adding “spelling mistakes, bad grammar, a dry headline…there are so many things that make me delete. [What ultimately matters is] relevance, and knowing if it’s going to the right person.”

TIPS: Think ‘quality vs. quantity’. Being able to say ‘I sent 100 emails today’ is not an achievement, so cut your hit list down to only those media outlets you have a genuine connection with.

Make it human. Adam says “Humans [must be] at the centre of what you’re talking about. You might be promoting your brand, but who’s it for? Who’s going to benefit from it? If you can’t articulate that, [you’ll never] bring to life whatever concept you’re trying to get across.”

3. DO connect your PR strategy with business outcomes

PR can be a powerful weapon if you know how to wield it. But it’s not a quick fix, or something to be done in your spare time or in isolation from the rest of your business strategy.

I’ve had business owners approach me wanting to do PR because they’ve just done a deal or landed a partnership and need to get the news out ASAP. While that may provide a quick ‘stop gap’, unfortunately, without a considered approach to your messaging and how to resonate with customers, stakeholders, and industry, being reactive like this rarely achieves the long term results you’re seeking.

TIP: What are your most critical business objectives for the coming 3, 6, 12 months? Your PR strategy needs to very clearly align with and support what you’re trying to achieve. For example, if one of your business goals is to grow your team, start thinking about where and how you can demonstrate that you’re an employer of choice, have a great culture, and so on.

4. DO stay on top of the news channels that matter for your business

Trying to read, watch, or listen to every single relevant publication or news outlet is impossible (and not the best use of your time). But if you want to be in the news you absolutely need to be on top of it.

This is a non-negotiable in my own business and something we screen closely in our recruitment process because if you’re not living and loving the daily news across multiple channels, then PR and corporate communications is probably not the right space for you!

TIP: Make sure you stay up to date with the key news outlets where your target audience is consuming its news, your industry is being covered, and your competitors are telling their stories.

5. DON’T forget to amplify every win

The reality is not every existing or potential customer will be watching, reading or listening each time you’re in the media. Don’t waste a hard-earned media win; once you’ve secured coverage in a media outlet, your job is not done!

Use your owned channels, paid or unpaid, to amplify your media coverage and further the reach, and remember, coverage or links to third-party sites are often viewed as independent and held in high regard by customers and stakeholders.

TIP: Whether it’s on your website, in a company e-newsletter, at an event, on LinkedIn or social channels, maximise your digital PR footprint to both build awareness and trust as well as more measurable outcomes like driving traffic to your website, building links which boost organic rankings (SEO), sales, and growing your social following and engagement.

PR is not an exact science and best practice is constantly evolving. If you’re going it alone you need to be smart about your strategy in order to avoid these common inefficiencies (there are more!) and make sure you’re not only getting noticed for the right reasons but also leveraging your investment in time and resources.


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