PR mistakes to avoid

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Many organizations make some basic public relations mistakes, which can dramatically affect their visibility and credibility.

Submitted: November 29, 2015

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Submitted: November 29, 2015



Many organizations make some basic public relations mistakes, which can dramatically affect their visibility and credibility.
Here are some common errors, with advice on how to avoid them.
Having unrealistic expectations of PR
Too many people think that they will become famous overnight if they hire a PR consultant. Or that publicity will automatically generate sales or raise their stock price.
Unfortunately, it usually doesn't work that way.
Marketers tell us that people go through at least four predictable stages in deciding to buy a product or support a cause. The stages are awareness, interest, desire and action.
PR is most important in the first two stages, helping generate the awareness and interest that is essential for any action. However, PR becomes less influential the closer people get to taking action.
Understanding this basic concept is essential. PR is important, but it will not change things overnight, make up for a poor product or service, or sell your product or service by itself.
Not knowing how to communicate with journalists

Social media & the Internet make it more difficult than ever for businesses to get attention from reporters.

Each journalist prefers to communicate in different ways. Some are easiest to reach on Twitter. Others prefer email.
There are even reporters who still pick up the desk phone whenever it rings.

It’s not one size fits all, you need to engage. Build relationships with relevant journalists by following them on Twitter, replying to their tweets & retweeting their stories. When you’re pitching to print, it’s different  than  when you’re pitching to Forbes, TechCrunch or when you’re pitching to local TV. 
Often you can get the attention of editors & reporters by "hijacking" the online comments section on a different story.
Start a discussion about your company in a relevant thread then steer the conversation toward a big announcement at your business.
The comments often end up more interesting than the original story.

Many companies also make the mistake of not building relationships with journalists until just before a big event. You should know who the journalists are, what they are interested in and what they cover  -  do your homework. If you don't know these things, don't even bother pitching to them.

Refusing to be media trained
Anyone who will interview with the media needs to be media trained.
Practicing some basic techniques and doing some mock interviews can make a world of difference. Oftentimes an outsider can help this process along.
Even veteran spokespeople sometimes have problems. President George W. Bush was recently asked what his greatest mistake was. He said he couldn't think of anything, a response that struck many people as arrogant.
Soon afterwards he was asked the same question again and had a response. The second time was a charm, but many people only remember that first "non-response."

Being too narrow in your publicity activities
For many people, the publicity campaign means sending out the occasional news release.
That generally is not enough.
It's true that PR people write news releases, but they do much more – everything from bylined articles and product reviews to podcasts and presentations.
In every case, the companies that consistently utilized a wide variety of PR tools got the best media coverage.
One comparison was particularly dramatic. The first company did a good job with its announcements. The second company got less coverage for its news releases, but maintained its visibility through contributed articles, reviews, speaking engagements and other means. The result: the second company was perceived as the industry leader; the first an "also-ran."
Don't limit yourself to barebones PR. Expand the scope of your program.

Source PR Services Tampa FL / Public Relations Services Clearwater FL / PR Agency Tampa FL / True Blue Communications

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