THE BLOG
09/15/2016 12:48 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

8 PR Faux Pas That Young Brands Must Avoid at all Costs

There's a difference between keeping on trend and trying too hard. Here are the common (and not always obvious) PR mistakes your brand may be committing.

A. Ignoring or Neglecting Your Online Presence

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While it's easy to set up a Facebook page or Twitter handle, you should only do so if you plan to use them in you PR efforts. Anything from a poorly designed website to an abandoned Twitter handle to an unprofessional LinkedIn photo can detract from your company's image online. Take the time to clean up your digital properties, and keep it simple. - Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs

A. Not Avoiding Industry Jargon

2016-08-31-1472656786-9779294-MichaelPeggs.pngDon't use industry jargon that might confuse your customers. Instead, write in a clear and concise fashion that communicates your value. Sell your story in a way that everyone can understand. - Michael Peggs, Marccx Media

A. Hiring a PR Agency

2016-08-31-1472656816-703785-ArryYu.pngHiring a PR agency too early will unnecessarily burn cash and be ineffective for the company. Start by setting goals and creating a bottoms-up plan for the company with PR metrics that are achievable. - Arry Yu, GiftStarter.com

A. Talking Down to Your Audience

2016-08-31-1472656845-8881764-StevenBuchwald.pngIt can be tempting to be at least a little arrogant. Not everyone can be a successful entrepreneur, after all. But the biggest faux pas you can commit is to talk down to your audience. Your goal is to foster a healthy connection with them. If you're condescending, refuse to admit fault or speak disrespectfully, you're going to drive people away from your brand in droves. - Steven Buchwald, The E2 Visa Lawyer

A. Not Setting Boundaries

2016-08-31-1472656877-1264823-BenWalker.pngDon't alienate clients or prospects with political, religious or even remotely edgy topics. One mistake can paint you as a "something" you may never be able to recover from. Avoid all political, religious and edgy topics and let your competitors deal with those traps. It may be difficult not to speak up about something you feel strongly about, but you will profit in the end by keeping mum. - Ben Walker, Transcription Outsourcing, LLC

A. Not Having Concise Messaging

2016-08-31-1472656916-3350955-LindsayPomeroy.pngA lot of brands try to be everything to everybody. The most successful brands have targeted and concise messaging to a specific consumer segment. Also, in terms of brand aligning, it's important to maintain your brand's integrity across all publications and social media outlets. - Lindsay Pomeroy, The Wine Smarties

A. Not Knowing (or Not Telling) Your Story

2016-08-31-1472656954-4669655-MikeJones.pngA lot of early-stage brands don't know the core story they should tell their customers. Sure, they have some sense of their product, the benefits and features, and maybe even an inkling of a purpose. But a truly compelling brand story contains a hero (your customer) with a problem, a guide (the brand), a way to overcome the problem (your product), and hopefully a remarkable outcome. - Mike Jones, Resound

A. Trying Too Hard to be "Hip"

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Lots of popular brands have a clear social media presence. You may want to use certain "hip" or "cool" lingo into your brand but resist the urge. Everything won't be "on fleek" and your audience will know immediately if you're being genuine. You want to come across as honest, and if you aren't sure of a term, don't use it. Don't sacrifice your reputation for trends. - Ajmal Saleem, Suprex Learning

These answers are provided by members of FounderSociety, an invitation-only organization comprised of ambitious startup founders and business owners.