8 all-too-familiar PR blunders—and ways to avoid them

Nebulous goals, unclear messaging and inadequate media prep are just some of the easily solvable problems that can mar or even undermine your otherwise outstanding campaign.

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PR campaigns can sputter for any number of reasons, but course corrections are easier than you might think.

Here are common pitfalls to sidestep:

1. Fuzzy goals

Sometimes PR objectives are described in vague terms, like “increased visibility” or “greater brand recognition.” Most PR agencies have become more sophisticated about goal-setting and measurement. It’s better for everyone if objectives are precise.

Think “increase awareness among prospective customers by 20%,” and make sure there’s a mechanism to measure it. B2B communicators can often rely on their own website analytics to gauge the power of earned media, while others use third-party vendors to conduct baseline customer research or calculate share-of-voice movement within a category.

It all comes back to accurate tracking of progress toward specific, measurable key performance indicators.

2. Insufficient research

Many people who work in PR thrive on the creative nature of what we do; after all, not everyone can dream up a winning idea for a product launch or the two-line pitch that will capture a journalist’s attention. It takes talent, and we’re proud of that. Still, the best campaigns are fueled by creativity, yet informed by research.

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