A lot has been made of the technological advances of the last century, decade – hell, even the last few days. Not only have these advances shaped the way we live, but they have also fundamentally changed the way we communicate, engage and ultimately impact and influence one another.

With this in mind, here are three common PR mistakes to avoid:

PR Mistake #1: Don’t Over-Digitize the Message

We often become fixated on the technology or engineering behind a product or innovation. We become intellectually married to the description of it and seemingly divorced from the reason why anyone would care that it exists. This is a mistake as it takes the You, Us, and We out of the story. So, don’t let the optronics that enabled the 100gE circuit be your story. Instead, let the super-fast delivery of the ultrasound image that saved the life or announced the pregnancy be the story. And with that in mind…

PR Mistake #2: Don’t Forget That Everyone Loves a Story

As the folks charged with shepherding or elevating brands, we are obligated to know what makes an organization’s products, services, and customers special.  Together, these elements weave the organization’s story. A good first step in a PR plan is to determine the origin story. Dig into why the company started in the first place. I can almost guarantee it wasn’t because someone thought that digging up the streets of New York and throwing glass in the ground was going to turn immediate profits. No, they likely had a dream or a vision to do something good. Maybe even something bigger than themselves. What is THAT story? How does it impact our lives? How are the founders of these companies just like YOU, WE, US? How might that connection help me make buying decisions?

PR Mistake #3: Don’t Forget to Get Engaged and Stay Engaged

If you distribute exciting or important news, behave like you expect the world to come kick down your door. Be as excited and public about it as you want others to be. Respond to the journalists. They’re your friends. And if they’re not, make them your friend. Respond to the “like” or “share” on social media. Say thank you. Be available. This starts at the top. Executives are crazy busy, I get that, but thanking someone on Twitter takes 15 seconds. And you’ve just made a friend, or better, a sale. As pros, we have to encourage this type of engagement with our clients and not expect them to assume that level of engagement. We have to be as engaged and as excited as we expect our clients to be.

Avoiding PR mistakes ultimately involves gaining control over your organization’s public narrative. It’s not just about technology, content, and engagement; it’s about orchestrating these elements in a manner that improves customer and audience experience. Be proactive and watch your brand become a positive player in the market.  

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