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Two reasons your PR is stuck in the mud

REASON ONE: You don’t listen to your customers

Someone high up in your business decides you really need a video/ blog/ e-newsletter.

Or someone in a meeting room tells you their idea which they think is the best thing since sliced bacon. They’ve seen it somewhere else for someone else and just knows that it will work.

But no one thinks why.

No one thinks about it from the point of view of your customers or potential customers.

Will the idea appeal to them? Will they laugh/ cry/ go to your website/ call you?

The best way you can try to get them to take the action you desire if you truly know who they are.  Do they live in London or rural Yorkshire? Are they 25 or 65? Do they watch Xfactor or Strictly?  Do they use Facebook or Twitter? What newspapers do they read?

Different types of people have different motivations, lusts and fears.  One person’s meerkat is another’s Volkswagen.

So, when did you last do any customer research? When did you last even ask your customers what they like about you/ your product/ your service? Try your idea out on a few and see what they say.

Publicity is not designed to attract you.  Nor is it meant to appeal to me.  We can all sit in a room all day coming up with brilliant ideas.  But unless we ask your customers if it works, we have failed.

REASON TWO: You don’t plan it strategically

Yes, you have a Facebook page, you have a Twitter account and your boss once bumped into a journalist at a conference and mentioned what you do.

But do you have a plan that covers all your methods of communicating?  Do you make sure you are sending out the same key messages across them all?  Do you have a schedule of updates? Do you use the same content in different ways?

Is one person responsible for coordinating it all?  Or are there several people who have access to the accounts and who post a variety of content – everything from photos of the cake they’ve just received from the lovely shop down the road to a link to a donation page for Dave’s charity bike ride.

Think about the messages you want to communicate as a business.  Plan, co-ordinate and make one person responsible for them.

Or carry on with what you’re doing and hope it works.  But remember publicity is essentially free advertising if you plan strategically and target your customers effectively.

What do you think? Why doesn’t your publicity work?

Are you an innovative start-up or solopreneur who wants media coverage?

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