Four Ways to Screw Up Your Small Business Marketing and PR

Hopefully by now you’ve heard us talk about small business marketing and PR for your business, organization, or cause. There are plenty of great resources and tips for how to develop your own strategy to generate leads, build credibility, and create content that your audience wants. 

There are also a few things you should NOT do, unless you really want to screw it up.

Setting weak goals with no business impact.

The quickest way to ensure you waste your time and money is to have goals that don’t translate into business outcomes.

If your goals don’t have a direct correlation to revenue, leads, web traffic, or a tangible demonstration of new expertise or thought leadership, you should reevaluate them.

Without some way to measure the impact of your efforts, how will you know what is effective?

Email signups = More Leads
Earned media = More Traffic
Social media = Content downloads

Define your goals in a way to demonstrate business value. The CEO or the client will thank you.

Unrealistic expectations for your small business marketing and PR.

Let’s be honest. We would all love to be featured on the front page of the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, or have an entire profile piece written about us in our favorite trade journal.

Is that realistic? Maybe if you’re Apple, Google, or these days one of the major commercial airlines (yikes!). Odds are, that’s not where your organization is.
Realistic expectations aren’t about sandbagging your goals or low-balling performance. It’s about building a sustainable program over time that leads to long-term success for your organization.

It is much better to build quarter-after-quarter increases in web traffic and lead generation of 10%, 15%, or 25% rather than set an unrealistic goal of tripling web traffic in 90 days and fail miserably.

Having no metrics or milestones along the way.

There’s nothing worse than putting six months of time, energy, and money into a small business marketing and PR only to realize at the end that despite all your work, you failed.

This doesn’t mean that every campaign will be a huge success, but you should be able to track metrics throughout the campaign to ensure you are at least making progress towards your goals.

The key question to answer here is, “How will I know on a weekly/monthly basis if we are making progress?”

Without strong metrics, you are gambling away time, effort and money with no ability to correct things along the way.

Sitting your small business marketing and PR on a shelf.

It sounds obvious, but you would be surprised how many organizations create a fantastic plan and then don’t execute it. Often this is a result of one or more of the above failures.

When goals are fuzzy, expectations are unrealistic, or metrics are absent, there really isn’t any incentive to stay on track.

That’s why we recommend setting milestones and having a timeline as part of your efforts. Without these key points along the way, you are flying blind. This is no different than driving through a new city without a map (or GPS, as the case may be these days).

If you’ve taken the time and made the effort to create a realistic, goal-focused small business marketing and PR that will drive business goals, then for heaven’s sake, stick to it!