Welcome to the SSPR Pulse, your beat on all things media and social media in the great big world of PR.
Do your PR and social efforts need a little help? There are likely things you're doing right now (well, you're reading our newsletter right now, that's a good thing) that might be hindering your path toward PR success. Our experts share their advice on the top things you need to stop doing in 2018:
1. Disregarding Trade Publications

Trade coverage is one of the most effective ways to get your brand message in front of the right people where it’s going to have the biggest impact. Sure, a feature piece in Business Insider is great, but are your manufacturing prospects reading Business Insider regularly? Probably not. Getting into the right trade pubs helps you boost brand awareness by showcasing the value your company’s product or service brings to your industry –  and, better yet, you're reaching your potential customers where they live, ultimately driving new business leads.
2. Using Terrible Stock Photos

Are visuals killing your content? In the age of mile-a-minute social media, you need visually compelling images to tell your story. If your target audience isn't a formal bunch, don't use photos of a business professional environment or dudes in suits pointing at the wall. Find something more relatable. It's time to introduce stock photos that don't feel forced , appear inauthentic or, honestly, look like they're from 1999.
3. Worrying About Vanity Metrics

Get rid of the vanity metrics and replace them with clarity metrics. Who cares about the number of people your ad reached or how many “likes” you have on your Facebook page? Those numbers aren’t showing you true ROI. If you’re trying to sell a product or service, the metric you should be focused on is sales. Companies that can report on real metrics contributing to their overall business strategy will continue to outpace the competition.
 
Use a tool like Google Analytics to monitor your website traffic and measure conversions or sales . Honestly, if you have a website and aren’t using web analytics to keep tabs on how people are interacting with the content, you’re seriously missing out on some of the most valuable information to marketers.
4. Ignoring Your Customers on Social Media

Only  one in seven companies has a strategy in place for utilizing social media to respond to its customers . Your customers resort to chatting online because they 1) want to be heard and 2) want an instant response. First, respond to the good and the bad with “thank you," such as: “Thank you for sharing your amazing idea or experience with us!” or “Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention.” Second, your goal should be to respond in two hours or less. For more tips on NOT ignoring your customers in 2018,   read this .
5. Saying No to Executive Thought Leadership

You’re obviously an expert in your field or you wouldn’t be in it – but do your prospects and customers know that? Thought leadership is a perfect opportunity for you to showcase your expertise. Journalists, customers and prospects want to know you have a solid understanding of your space and the trends or pain points in your industry before they can trust you (and your company). By sharing your insight, you position yourself as a knowledgable resource and reporters may use your commentary in larger articles – solidifying your reputation as a trusted advisor over time.
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