To Prepare an Effective Comms Plan, Avoid These 5 PR Pitfalls
Today, and even the past few years really, it seems that any which way you step there is an obstacle to overcome.
To the right is the pandemic. To the right of that, even more pandemic. To the left, political turmoil. To the left of that, the war in Ukraine. Straight ahead, your organization’s own unique challenges.
For any business, association, or non-profit, these challenges seem to come out of nowhere, as we have seen in 2020, 2021 and again in 2022, but that doesn’t mean as public relations and communications professionals, we can’t be diligent about our strategic communication goals and efforts as we strive to support our clients and brands.
To that end, when looking forward through the next three months, the rest of the year, or even beyond, there are hazards that organizations should avoid when laying out their communications strategies.
Based on our 20 plus years of experience, circumventing the following five pitfalls can help keep your communications goals balanced and on point:
- Inconsistent Communications: Too often organizations will start fast and strong with their communications, and sooner than later, peter out in a short timeframe. Things will go quiet for a bit, and a few months later, a new, different effort to get communications going again will commence. But again, it doesn’t last. This type of inconsistency not only burns out your team, but it can also easily cause confusion with your audience about when and how they can expect updates and new information.
- Not Having a Strategic Communications Plan: To combat ad hoc, reactive PR efforts, developing a strong communications strategy is important, especially one that includes crisis communications. Having a plan in place keeps comms professionals focused, looking forward and in line with their PR goals. It also allows for consistency in communications efforts from day to day, week to week, and month to month. Whether it’s at the beginning of the year or nine months in, it’s also never too late to build out a communications strategy.
- Giving Up Too Soon: Without a strategic plan in place, it’s easy to think short-term and look only for immediate results – getting discouraged after the initial round of pitching, rushing to the next big thing. It takes time and effort to place a story, sway public opinion, build brand awareness, or gain new social media followers. These things take time and giving up on long-term goals will only inhibit greater success down the road.
- Following the Bandwagon: People love trends. Whether in fashion, entertainment, travel and sports, people want to jump on the bandwagon. While it may seem like a great idea to join every TikTok trend you see, it actually may be more hurtful than helpful. In terms of PR, if you’re getting in on a trend, there’s a good chance that the trend is already passing and is old news. Jumping on the bandwagon, unless it ties in directly to your efforts, will likely sap time, energy and resources away from your long-term communications goals.
- Not Seeking Outside Assistance: Sometimes, there is just too much for an in-house comms team to complete effectively and on time. And other times, there isn’t even a full in-house comms team. PR firms like Xenophon are designed to be an extra set of hands for an organization that wants to successfully communicate in traditional and social media to their stakeholders, whomever they might be – members of the general public, politicians, influencers, donors, investors and more. Whatever your PR goals may be, Xenophon is here to help you achieve them.
If you are seeking any advice on a communications plan, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We recommend taking a few moments to request a consultation.