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Top PR Mistakes Small Businesses Make

by Amanda Westphal 11 Oct 2016

PR is one of those words that's thrown around the small business space. Everyone wants it, no-one wants to pay for it, and so many think they can do a little bit of it themselves. Unfortunately I see hundreds of entrepreneurs make the same mistakes. 

 

1. Writing A Press Release.

But isn't this the core of PR? Well, perhaps it used to be. However, media don't respond to press releases like they used too. Just like your business sales funnel, PR is about relationships with journalists. A press release is the opposite of that, it just makes it obvious that you're pitching the same story to multiple media outlets, which is a real turn-off. This leads us to...

 

2. Throwing Mud At The Wall.

Sending an email to a media list, and hoping a few of them contact you is a terrible idea. It's going to make you look like a total stinker. Instead of counting media email addresses on a list, just nurture and show love to a handful of journalists. That way

they know who you are, and will think of you for appropriate stories. You'll have a much better success rate emailing five journalists personally, than 100 in a mass distribution.   

 

3. That's Not News To Anyone But You.

This one is harsh. Do you have a store opening? new product? or business rebrand that you want some epic PR for? Unfortunately all of those things are boring and not newsworthy to journalists. Did you see an article in the tele about the new cupcake store

that just opened? No? Exactly. When we're so deep in our business it's hard to separate what's awesome to us v's general interest. It's important to work with a pro to find your angles for media to be interested in - that way you save time and are more likely to get PR. 

 

4. Expecting A Silver Bullet   

PR is the long game. You usually won't get immediate sales from one piece of PR. So it's important to juggle a few media pieces that go to market every couple of months. Using media competitions is a brilliant way to get media exposure, without the hard slog of regular PR. You just pick a media partner, offer them a prize, and BAM! That's it. Partnering media competitions with PR and your other marketing activity gives you a tidy little marketing mix. With these powers combined you will ensure long term success.  

 

 

5. Asking Questions

While you don't know what the media want, and it might seem polite to ask them - this just ensures you don't get a reply email. I've found that any questions, even awesome ones, results in them ignoring you. Instead of, 'would you like an interview with the founder, the brand spokesperson or some samples?' - just send them samples and tell them you have set aside 10am Friday for an interview with the spokesperson.  All we need to do is take all the decision making away and ensuring it's really easy for them to promote you. The less work you'r asking them to do the better, and leaving out unnecessary questions is a great way to ensure that your message is clear and you send something juicy to them. 

 

Now, the best place to start is research - so grab that wine and give yourself licence to scroll through some websites to find a perfect journalist to start courting. If you want some immediate media exposure, jump over to Prize Pig. You can get epic media exposure in just two clicks. Want to know more about how it works? Click here.  

 

 

 

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