As a new PR agency, you will be the voice behind the brands you represent and will be responsible for telling consumers what to think about the brand you represent. You will be the voice that shapes consumers’ expectations toward your representative brand, which means a mistake could be very costly for you as a PR business and the brand(s) you represent.
In this article, we focus on five common mistakes made by new PR agencies—and what you can do to avoid making them as a PR business owner.
Mistake 1: Getting out too early
Only some of your PR campaigns will go as expected; many won’t, and you won’t always see immediate results or achieve all your campaign objectives.
Unfortunately, when results don’t come as quickly as anticipated, most new PR agencies make the mistake of quitting too early without finding ways to rework a campaign for enhanced effectiveness.
That is a costly business mistake because when underlying issues go unaddressed for too long, they can become too common with all your campaigns, leading to stagnated business growth.
One ingenious way to ensure you do not get out too early is to go through a checklist:
- Is it the story? Is it good enough? Have you given it enough time to grow?
- Is there a press blocker? Is there something in the press that is taking away from the story?
- Is there a better time for it?
- Is there another approach that could be suitable for your desired audience?
The main point here is to ensure you have covered all bases. Doing this offers you more insight into how to plan your PR campaigns in the future.
Mistake 2: Setting big goals
There is a big difference between being busy and productive; unfortunately, most new PR agencies have a skewed view of the two.
In the PR agency business, your services sell you. If the quality of your work is poor, no one will want to work with you. For example, when you’re constantly behind schedule and always rushing to meet set goals, the chances of unmet deliverables will be high, which will hurt your trust rating amongst your customers.
Although setting big goals like having four major campaigns a month is still achievable, it might be a challenging target to meet and is a mistake you should do your best to avoid at all costs.
Setting more reasonable goals, for example, working on an average of 1 campaign per month, gives you more freedom to give a project everything you’ve got. You will feel less overwhelmed and more encouraged to scale, and this focus will show in your work, and as your work improves, you are likely to attract more clients.
Mistake 3: Using a mass mailing system to send out pictures
While the mass mailing system can be great for some industries, especially eCommerce, they do not work as well for the PR business where sending pictures is common. Using this system comes off as an impersonal way of reaching your contacts.
Additionally, when you use a mass mailing system, many people might mark your business email address as spam, which might lower the email’s integrity score, and cause instances where your personalized messages end up in the spam folder in the future.
To avoid this, ensure that you mainly send personalized messages to people. Customizing your emails gives your emails a personalized touch that can make your campaigns more effective.
Mistake 4: Rushing to get the word out
As a new agency, you might give in to the temptation to quickly get the word out about yourself or your clients. That is often a mistake, and it is usually better to take a beat, understand your client, and have a strategic action plan. You should do your best to ensure all your client and brand outreach campaigns are spot on; that is the only way to build a stellar reputation as a powerhouse PR agency.
Before reaching out to a potential client, understand their product and the best way to reach their audience. You must build a relationship with all your clients by repeatedly proving your value as a partner.
Mistake 5: Not having enough cash reserves early on
Like most businesses, a PR agency needs money to run. A common mistake new PR agencies commit is not having adequate cash reserves.
Cash reserves are an important part of running a new business because they provide cash flow, which is very important for a business like a PR agency that is prone to unexpected expenses and revenue dips.
If you have a good credit score, you can consider taking out a loan to fund your cash reserve, but before venturing into the business, it is best to have some savings you can fall back on when you need to scale your PR agency. Setting aside enough capital makes it easier to make decisions.
While these five mistakes are in no order of importance, knowing what to do to avoid them can make all the difference for new PR businesses looking to establish themselves.