What PR mistakes are you making? (why everyone is a customer)


I decided to book in for a facial recently and chose to phone a beautician I had seen often on social media. Her PR program was working a treat. She was gaining great attention across several platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linked In. Great branding and messaging, consistent, dynamic. She was saying all the things that spoke to me as her type of client.

I was sold.

Time to buy.

I dialed the number looking forward to establishing a new relationship with someone that I felt I would connect with. After all, I felt like I knew her pretty well already.

She would be happy to speak to me and take my booking. Maybe we would chat about her social media campaign and how great she was doing.

I was ready to complement her and the great PR program she was rolling out.

And then she answered.

Well I discovered it was her after the business number I dialed was answered with a vague ‘hello’. Ok, maybe I have the wrong number?

But no. I had called the right number.

But apparently at the wrong time. She was preoccupied.

Strange, her Facebook page had listed her opening hours and I had definitely phoned within those hours.

Warm, fuzzy, welcome feeling = Nil

So I asked politely, because I am polite “I can appreciate I’ve caught you at a bad time, I just wondered if can I make a booking for tomorrow please”

Well I’m not at work right now I am kind of busy today and I have something to do as soon as I do get to the office, can you call me back tomorrow”.

Can I call her back tomorrow?

Well yes I could, but I won’t.

Perhaps she could have offered to call me back?

Maybe she didn’t have a pen and couldn’t write down my number – that’s ok, I get that.

But no, she just wanted me to chase her.

Personally I think that is a little strange … after all isn’t she the one that supposedly should be building a customer base?

Maybe she could have apologized for being a little unorganized.

I would have accepted that. I’m an easygoing person after all.

But I am busy too and there are thousands of other beauty salons out there so I will call one of them tomorrow.

Maybe they will take my call politely and create a relationship with me, that is genuine and friendly?

Because every thing you do in your business and in your life is about good PR – that is, good public relations, relations with YOUR public. If ‘you’ face are your brand you better work it inside and outside of business hours. 

Good PR is crucial to building a good customer base and cementing ongoing relationships.

A great automotive sales manager said to me recently that she never sells anymore – she just helps her friends – because over the years the people that have come to buy cars from her have become just that – friends. It makes life easier for them and for her.

That’s not only good customer service – that’s great PR. Her reputation and style will ensure more customers who return year after year. Good PR leads to good sales – maybe not today, but down the track a consistent PR program will bring brand awareness and customers will follow.

In an age where every one is a potential customer or the friend or family member of someone who might be a customer, isn’t it worth taking the extra effort to relate well to your (potential) clients?

You can spend all the money in the world on fancy PR stunts and advertising but at the end of the day if you aren’t authentic in your relationships you won’t get customers or repeat business.

But back to my beautician – I’ve now stopped following her on social media as I felt her feed was now less than genuine.

It’s a shame, sometimes I miss her.


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