5 PR tactics that do more harm than good


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In the world of PR, there are an unlimited amount of strategies and tactics available for professionals to use when creating PR campaigns and engaging with existing and prospective stakeholders. Successful PR campaigns aim to procure good publicity through the effective use of social media and other platforms such as print newspapers or radio and digital coverage. Despite the overwhelming variety of channels available to engage with your stakeholders and communicate your campaigns key messages, a lot of people can easily get things wrong and get attention for all the wrong reasons.

Nothing is worse than gaining negative coverage for a campaign you anticipated a positive reception for. Nonetheless, we’re here to help. Here at MediaHQ, we want to help you take the grunt work out of PR. We’ve devised a list of five tactics that you should avoid when implementing your PR plans.

Not doing your market research

One of the most important things to do when constructing PR campaigns is to conduct thorough market research. This generally involves researching your target stakeholders and understanding their behaviours and interests so you can tailor your campaigns messages accordingly to engage them in an efficient and positive manner. Not doing your market research is equivalent to the saying ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’. Market research should be the first thing you do when embarking on creating a PR campaign for your company and brand. By not doing so, you could risk sending messages out that do not fare well with both your existing and anticipated customers. As well as this, by not doing research, you could also place yourself in danger of blowing your budget on tactics that gain little or no engagement. If you don’t research your audience, there could also be a possibility of creating messages that miss the mark entirely which could offend many people and cause a crisis situation.
Poor social media management
Nowadays, social media is the big thing. It’s where the majority of people seek information and source news. It is also a great platform for blowing minor crisis situations out of proportion which could cause detrimental effects to your organisation’s reputation and business activities. There is an easy solution to this. By ensuring you are regularly monitoring conversations online about your PR campaign or brand, you can make sure that you’re up-to-date on the latest customer developments. Social media monitoring is a vital part of any PR campaign. If you don’t give it consideration in your PR endeavours, you could run the risk of letting a crisis situation unfolding on social media go unnoticed for too long which could cause serious problems for your organisation’s customer receptivity.

Ignoring criticism

Let’s face it, no PR campaign is ever perfect. We all encounter a few bumps here and there, but oftentimes they are easily resolved by simply listening to some constructive criticism. Many organisations have a customer complaint or feedback form embedded in the social media channels or on their websites. This allows customers to have a say in your businesses PR activities and whether or not you are being tasteful or considerate in your approach. Many businesses and brands use social media as a personalised two-way communication channel to facilitate a customer service approach to issues management and stakeholder queries. By doing so, this allows businesses to take constructive criticism on board to amend their PR strategies in a positive and progressive way. This approach allows customers to feel like they are actively being listened to which can generate stakeholder trust and brand loyalty. On the flip side, if you are not listening to your customer’s concern or if you are blatantly ignoring them, it can cause substantial reputation damage and even the loss of existing customers. Always make sure you are listening to your customers, otherwise, you could run the risk of a wide-scale crisis situation.

Poor press release pitches

In the PR world, journalists are your friends. Like PR professionals, they too are busy people and do not have the time for poorly articulated press releases. Be sure to take the time to properly construct a press release that catches your desired journalists attention. Make sure you have an eye-grabbing subject line and that your email is short, sweet and straight to the point. You can check out our tips on how to create the perfect email here.
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Not using visuals

PR campaigns that lack engaging visuals are generally ones that gain little to no coverage. People’s attention spans in today’s society are shorter than ever. To ensure your messages get through to your target audiences, it is important to contain a visual element in your campaign. Not only does this make things exciting and interesting for your targeted customers, but it also helps you to refine your key messages in a way that is far more effective than any large body of text ever could. Consider implementing videos, infographics or images into your PR campaign to procure more positive and greater stakeholder engagement.
Need inspiration? Looking to make the news? MediaHQ can help. Click here to find out more, or call Gaye on (01) 254 1845.