The public relations industry in the UK is a big one. According to cipr.com it comprises more than 1,500 individual firms, and it’s growing at 3 percent per year. It’s clear that there’s a belief in the power of PR to make a difference to a company’s image.
So what’s the problem?
The problem is that many startups and small businesses are getting their PR totally wrong. Often, a company will go from one PR firm to another, hoping that that will make a difference. But they rarely stop and think about whether the problem lies with them and how they are conducting themselves.
Take a look at these reasons why your PR campaign is failing. Do any of them sound familiar to you?
Stop Letting Your Ego Dictate Your PR Policy
Startup founders tend to have healthy egos. That’s good: it usually means that they have belief in themselves and resilience to deal with problems. But having an ego can have a dark side for the average startup. The problem is this: most startups think that they are changing the world. But the reality is that many are not. Instead, they’re doing something very similar to what has already been done before. PR firms will point this out. But, of course, big egos can get in the way of the simple truth. Startups can reject the advice of PR companies, all because they don’t share their particular vision of the enterprise.
Failing To Use PR In Your Marketing
There’s a reason sites like yourvirtualofficelondon.co.uk offer businesses prime office addresses. Fancy office addresses are a great public relations tool. Your address lets your customers know that you’re a firm that means business.
The same goes for your social media accounts. Low budget social media accounts look tacky and unprofessional.
But here’s the catch: most people don’t know how to use PR in their marketing.
You might have a fancy website with some amazing motion-photography. But if you don’t address the problem of legitimacy, you’ll be a dead duck business. Weave PR into your marketing. Don’t just showcase your product; put your business on display as well.
You Think Journalists Owe You A Story When They Don’t
One way to jump start a business is to get a journalist to write something about you. Anything will do, even if it’s ho-hum. Just having your business’s name mentioned on a reputable news site can make a world of difference to the popularity of your site. But here’s the thing: journalists don’t actually owe small businesses anything. Just like everything else, it’s a trade. They’ll publish your story if it’s interesting to their readers. They won’t bother if it’s not. Thus, it’s up to you to create a compelling narrative around what you’re doing. It can be anything, really. Perhaps you are motivated by some life-changing event in the past. Or maybe you took your business in a direction that was opposite to the rest of the industry. Perhaps you were cajoled into it family and friends who insisted it would work, but you didn’t believe them.