4 Reasons PR Campaigns Fail

I’m a firm believer in studying the mistakes made by other PR campaigns so you can avoid making them yourself. Forget learning from your own mistakes. That’s too costly. The goal should be to let other people make the mistakes, you learn from them, and you never make mistakes at all.

success-failureTo get the most from your PR efforts, you need to avoid making the mistakes in this list. Below, I’ve listed 4 reasons responsible for the failure of nearly every bad PR campaign I’ve ever seen.

1.     There wasn’t a plan – Before you can even think about sending out press releases, getting interviews, or building a buzz through social media, you need to create an actual plan. Ask yourself: Why am I launching a PR campaign? Who do I want to reach? What do I want the audience to get from this? What do I want my audience to do when they’ve been exposed to my PR? Once you know these things, you can create an actual plan that will help you meet your PR goals.

2.     The campaign didn’t have time to work – This usually happens when clients have unrealistic expectations. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: There’s no “magic bullet” press release that will instantly generate tens of millions of dollars. You need a commitment to a series of press releases and other PR tactics over a period of time before you can expect to see results. For PR agencies, this means educating clients on the process and setting realistic expectations so the PR campaign won’t get cut short before it has a chance to produce results.

3.     Too many messages were being sent – Another common mistake companies make is to bite off more than they can chew with their PR campaign. They want to reach everyone, and they want their audience to get many different things and take make different actions because of their PR campaign. I’m a believer in the less is more approach. Simplify things. Try to achieve one goal at a time with your PR campaign, and stay consistent in your messaging. Otherwise, you’ll just overwhelm and confuse your audience.

4. The campaign ignored the power of new media – Like it or not, bloggers and social media hold a lot of power these days. Reaching out to bloggers can be a powerful way to spread your news and message far and wide. Coverage in the blogosphere can put you directly in front of your target audience, drive traffic to your website, and help you quickly spread your message in the most cost-effective manner.

Have you been a part of a failed PR campaign? What mistakes were made?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here:

2 Responses

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    This post was mentioned on Twitter by michaelalaubs: 4 Reasons PR Campaigns Fail

  2. MichaelHartzell says:

    RT @ereleases: New blog post: 4 Reasons PR Campaigns Fail

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