Ghost PR Is Killing Your Brand: What CEOs Need to Know

Ghost PR Is Killing Your Brand: What CEOs Need to Know

Go to your company or nonprofit’s news page. What media placements are listed? Are they more than a couple months old? If so, this article is for you.

You: But I was featured on our local tv station last year.

Me: Dosen’t count.

You: But we were featured in TechCrunch for our launch.

Me: Six months ago. Doesn’t count.

You: But my press release got 80,000 impressions according to BusinessWire.

Me: Exactly. You’re a ghost. But fortunately, you don’t have to stay this way.

What is Ghost PR Syndrome? 

Ghost PR Syndrome is when the media hasn’t mentioned your brand any time in the last month, and it’s killing your business reputation.

How Is Ghost PR Syndrome Dangerous?

1. You’re Helping the Competition:

Not being actively in the media gives your competition a chance. When customers are conducting research for your type of product or service, they’re more likely to favor brands that have a variety of positive, credible media endorsements. If your brand isn’t current, you’re missing out on potential customers and revenue.

2. You Don’t Care About Your Appearance:

Relying on old PR placements shows that staying relevant isn’t important to your brand. When media placements for a brand are more than a month or two old, it’s the same as wearing dirty laundry to work; it looks bad, people notice, and no one will tell you.

3. You’re Wasting SEO Opportunities:

One of the number one ways people research new products is online, and media placements are a great way to drive SEO for your brand. If you’re not actively getting your share of media placements, your brand is missing some meaningful web-traffic.

4. You’re crippling your sales team:

Sure great salespeople can sell “anything” but if you have Ghost PR Syndrome, your forcing your team to trot out the same horse time, after time, trying to sell to leads, who are becoming more and more familiar with the competition. Current media placements can go a long way to lending credibility to your product and that can speed-up and unburden your sales team.

5. You’re Isolating Your Customers:

Lack of PR makes current customers less confident in the best of times and more skeptical if they have a problem. Hanging out with the “cool kids” is still a thing. Even if you have won customers and they’ve been with you for a long time, they may decide to go with the competition if the news is raving about how wonderful a similar product is. For customers who’ve had a problem, (as long as that problem is handled in a favorable way), positive media stories can help them have faith in your company while their problem is sorted out, leading them to believe that their issue is isolated, and not the tip of the iceberg of doom for your brand.

Is Ghost PR Syndrome Preventable?

Yes. You need to make PR a priority for your brand. Work with a firm that understands your desire to stay relevant in your market. Talk with a number of firms who represent brands of a similar size and industry to yours. Talk with fellow founders, executives, and colleagues and ask who they recommend. You can overcome Ghost PR Syndrome and get your brand back on track.

The Bottom Line: 

If you want your company to stand out, attract new customers, and stay relevant, active PR should be one of the most-valuable, most-used tools in your marketing toolbox.

Jennifer L. Jacobson helps brands find their voice. Her clients have been TIME’s best site of the year, and graced the likes of Today, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Popular Science, Scientific American, USA Today, The Atlantic, and thousands more. She is the founder of Jacobson Communication; a PR and marketing firm.