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Common PR disasters every start-up should avoid

Big Lunch Party (1)Is your start-up looking for affordable PR activities? In the absence of a big marketing budget, an entrepreneurial venture most often uses the media to create a buzz. While it can be daunting to get the word out about a small business, the good news is building a strong presence can be attainable if a few common PR mistakes are avoided. So, if you are planning to hire a Public Relations agency or take up the job yourself, here’s a checklist of some of the early mistakes committed by start-ups that endanger their image in the media.

Opting for a Big launch party

It’s true that media professionals love to cover events – especially if it’s held at a grand location, but every start-up should instead focus on building an impact through its product/ services. The crux of the matter is that if your product/ service needs work, no grand launch party or celeb can make it look cool. When you are a no-name company, try to compensate the audiences with your business offering rather than focussing on a big launch party.

Relentless follow-ups

Yes, journalists become irritated when they receive a follow-up mail over and over again. Market experts are of the opinion that effective PR is driven by inception. The idea should be placed in a writer’s head. Now, it’s up to them and their editors if they want to cover your business or not. Never push too much or you may end up losing an opportunity to bag media coverage in the future.

Not following email etiquette

Here’s a list of deal-breakers that are most commonly found in press releases –

  1. Sharing of content without reviewing the spellings and grammatical errors.
  2. Sending a personalised message along with the PR pitch.
  3. Sending emails comprising unsolicited and bloated attachments

Making it tough to locate contact details

Never make it difficult for the media practitioners to find the best media contact. Your website should be structured in a way that they are navigated to the press-related information within 15 seconds of their visit.  Making the journalists fill out web forms is a bad idea as they usually work under tight deadlines. In simple words, information about your business should be easily accessible to increase the chances of media coverage.

Collaborating with unknown publications

Marketing gurus feel that known brands do not prefer to cover a story that has already been covered by a lesser known publication.

Not planning in advance

It can be tough for a start-up business to have each and everything organised, planned ahead of the launch. Similarly, it is difficult for a magazine writer – who usually works on stories several months in advance – to cover a business/product that will become stale by the time the magazine issue reaches the audiences. A start-up business should be prompt to give an advance scoop to bolster the chance of coverage.

Choosing an inappropriate time to launchinappropriate time to launch (1)

No start-up can beat the attention received by the likes of Apple. When more than half the tech world is busy covering Apple, it’s not the best time to launch your business and expect to grab eyeballs. The solution: go for a launch date that doesn’t coincide with anything big that will absorb newspaper space.

Using a negative approach

A start-up should focus on spreading awareness about its business offering, learning from the best practices used for it by competitors instead of becoming enemies with them. Since collaboration is the key for start-ups, your current competitor could be your future partner. So, focus on building bridges.

Not thinking before you speak

In the world of Social media where everything is shared via videos and quotes, thinking that your comment won’t be discussed beyond the group you are addressing is a big mistake.

Avoid these blunders to ensure success for your big launch. Always remember that there are no do-overs as your big day will only come once and as they say, ‘the first impression is the last impression’.

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