As a startup owner, you are probably strapped for cash and can’t afford to get experts in to help you out. This is when you end up being a jack of all trades and master of none as you dabble in various aspects of running a business. You can get some basic guidance on accountancy, marketing and IT from the web but this does not stop you from making some horrendous mistakes. You are, after all, on the steepest of learning curves.
One area where you cannot afford to make any mistakes is PR. You need the publicity, you need to build awareness of your brand and you need to engage with your clients.
If your PR is poor, you will get nothing out of it and will a waste of your valuable time. Do yourself a favor and avoid the biggest 5 PR mistakes to give your startup the best chance of success.
You may want to show off your newly acquired knowledge and use all the appropriate industry terms but your clients are not the least bit interested. Technical jargon will put them off. Consumers and the media prefer simple, plain English that is clear and gets to the point quickly.
Press releases are essential to getting your business noticed and talked about in the media. Please don’t make these press release writing mistakes or you’ll be sorry. Don’t allow spelling or punctuation mistakes to sneak in and don’t use long, rambling sentences. The words must convey the basic details of what, who, where, how and why in a succinct way.
Decide exactly who will receive your press release and make sure that they get it! Don’t let it go to the wrong department or journalist. Use the name of who you are sending it to in your email and double check that the email address is correct.
Large-scale mail-outs can be problematic in this way. It may be best to mail out in batches of 10 or less. This enables you to target them properly and make them relevant to the recipient.
PR is all about creating a hook. If you don’t have one, journalists and publishers will not be interested in you. If you can provide some backup material, such as cold hard data, they will be even more interested. They have a discerning readership to satisfy and they get hundreds of press releases a week so yours needs to be impressive. They have seen enough “we’re delighted to announce…” to last them a lifetime!
Most startups succeed or fail online these days so you have to have one eye on your online presence. Make your press releases and articles part of your online strategy. Make use of your major SEO keywords and pop in some backlinks to your website. If you refer to other sites, you can include hyperlinks.
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