You can use public relations to tell stories about your business. Through public relations, you can promote your business and its products and services to current and prospective customers. Many public relations campaigns involve sending press releases, writing feature articles or sharing your expertise to garner quotes in print or online publications. While there are many advantages to public relations, there are several disadvantages as well.
Developing Newsworthy Stories
One of the main goals of a public relations campaign is to provide potential customers with timely, newsworthy information. Businesses often issue press releases for grand openings, product launches, employee recruitment or participation in an event promoting a cause. While public relations efforts can create results, coming up with an interesting press release is not always easy.
Hard to Measure Success
Companies often find it difficult to measure a campaign’s success. Mark Nowlan, “Entrepreneur” Magazine’s public relations columnist, notes that measuring and evaluating the impact of public relations efforts is often subjective. He suggests that it’s hard to compare and contrast impact across publications. Your can hire a clipping service, which can be expensive. Otherwise you can look for mentions by searching the Internet using keywords from your press release. You can search magazines and newspapers manually, which entails much drudgery.
Need a Publicist
You’ll need an in-house or freelance publicist to launch a successful public relations campaign. A publicist can identify the best media to pitch, build media lists, develop press releases and write stories. Business owners incur an expense for public relations services, which will vary depending on your location, the publicist’s level of experience and the amount of time the publicist spends on your project.
Selecting the appropriate media to pitch your stories to may prove to be problematic, as you try to review their readership to see if they match your target market. This takes time, which may pull you away from other tasks, unless you hire a consultant to assist you. Pitching to relevant media increases your chances of getting coverage.
Inaccurate Message or Storytelling
When you distribute a press release, it falls into the hands of many journalists, who may use it to create a newsworthy story. While it can be advantageous to have a story written about your business, you can be at a disadvantage if the story is inaccurate, incomplete or misleading. A writer may see a negative angle that can damage your company’s reputation. Additionally, you may have to give interviews to multiple writers, which can eat into your time.