Public Relations is a fast-paced industry and is not for the faint of heart. Many organizations however, make some basic PR mistakes, which can diminish their visibility and credibility. Check out this list of common PR mistakes to avoid:
1. Failure to Research – For most PR representatives, the pressure is on to place news stories and gain mass media coverage. It can be tempting to email that pitch, press release or fact sheet to every media outlet that seems remotely relatable. Resist! Do your research, familiarize yourself with the publication, read what they have covered previously, and make sure what you are pitching is a good fit!
2. Lack of Follow Up – Don’t forget to formally thank your media contacts for any coverage they may provide! A simple email or thank you card will suffice. PR is all about building relationships.
3. Poor Editing – Nothing turns off a reporter more than a poorly written press release or pitch. And even if you are a rock-star writer, don’t underestimate the importance of good editing. Having someone else look over your draft can be the difference between asking prominent media personnel how they enjoyed their ‘doughnuts’ rather than ‘dognuts.’
4. Ignoring the Human Element – Technology has, without a doubt, enhanced everyday communications in just about every way imaginable. Email, text messaging, Twitter, Facebook and other online resources have been especially beneficial to the lives of PR professionals, who value relationship-building more than they do sleep and food combined. However, there is still something to be said for the occasional phone call or in-person meeting with each and every one of your clients and media contacts. The human element will always reign supreme; its importance shouldn’t be forgotten.
5. Overhyping – PR loses credibility in some circles due to the tendency to overhype. Don’t invite a hundred reporters to a press conference for a “life changing announcement” only to tell them that your client is bringing in a new Vice President. Instead, save your hype for the big news and recognize when the other stuff just isn’t that newsworthy.