Saturday, October 1, 2011

Three Biggest Marketing and PR Blunders

Here are some the most common mistakes I see companies makes when marketing or promoting their businesses. In fact, some of these mistakes are so common it's completely shocking that these companies continue to repeat the same blunders. Or maybe the companies that do make these mistakes come and go -- and someone else picks up the baton to continue to the next marker. So, without further adieu, here are some of those blunders that hopefully your company will not perpetuate.

Non-targetted, non-specific event invitations to everything from the steak cook-off to the community weight-loss event. I am invited to hundreds (no exaggeration) of events per day, especially on Facebook. What I've noticed is a complete lack of consideration or discretion as to who these groups invite. Business people literally blast invitations to community weight-loss events to someone like me who is not in the least in need of such an event. They invite vegetarians to BBQs. No research or thought goes into these invitations. It's like throw something out and hopefully something will bite. And maybe someone might bite, but more times than less, I noticed these event organizers don't have much success. Be specific, target your mailing lists, and your results will be that much greater.

Porn star pictures in place of attractive head shots. This ridiculous rise of the sexy, weird or bizarre head shots in place of a standard business portrait or even logo on social media has arisen primarily on social media. Unless it's a personal page, your Vaseline-hazed porn shot has no place on your business or social-media page. A glamour shot in place of a nice head shot ... no place either. Your bare chest or just your little cartoon icon that borders on strange and creepy should be reserved only for comic book sellers and not your website, brochure or social media page. If you've put a hazy glamour shot on your page, ask yourself what really is your objective? To get sexually harassed? Because the underlining message with those kinds of head shots is not what a business woman or man should be putting out to other serious-minded business people. It sends the absolute wrong message -- you are not a serious business person but you are seriously trying to meet the opposite sex ... in the workplace! I can hear human resources groaning as I write this.

Big hat no cattle. This mistake involves a lot of grand intentions and a lack of follow through. I see companies or individuals all revved up. They're going to blog. They're going to produce a newsletter. They're going to do three PR campaigns a year. They're going to post on social media on a regular basis. Then they spend possibly thousands of dollars to develop the collateral and templates. And like any excited toddler, they play with their new toys for all of a month or two, and boredom soon sets in. Pretty soon, the blog has a six-month old date stamp from the last post; the newsletter actually got written twice; and the social media turns into a non-stop distraction in Farmville. If you're going to commit to really doing marketing, do not leave your "cattle" unattended. What will happen is your best intentions and lack of follow through will make it look like you've gone out of business, and it will have the opposite effect from what you intended.

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