4 Most Common Mistakes in PR

It's human to make mistakes. However, if you make them systematically, all the time, without even realising it, then everything is pointless.

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Here are a few most common mistakes in PR that should be avoided like the plague:

1. Lack of media knowledge

When you want to send your story to a newspaper or any other media, you have to do some research on that particular media. In other words, it is important for you to be able to recognise which media or which section of the media will find your story interesting. If you keep sending it to the wrong ones, it will end up in the trash and will not be published because that media finds it irrelevant, while some other outlet, or even just another section would have found it a great addition to their media space and both of you could have benefited – you would have given them an interesting story to publish and they would have done it without any financial compensation which is beneficial for you.

Journalists complain that they get over 300 emails a day, and they are only interested in a few of them!

2. Sending the same press release to all media

Personalising your email with “Dear Mark” is simply not enough. When a journalist opens your email and sees the addresses of other media outlets (their direct competition) in the Sent list, he can instantly lose interest in publishing something which was already published (or will be covered) by someone else. True, personalising each email takes more time, but turs me, it’s worth it.

Send each email individually if it’s important to you for the story to be published or covered, use the journalist’s name and surname, and in some cases send an email to the journalist directly instead of sending it to the entire newsroom.

3. Wasting time on gimmicks and promotions instead of the value of the story itself

A party to celebrate your client’s new hairstyle is not something any newsroom should be bothered with. These events don’t have any informative value and they will only waste the already overcrowded media space.

However, be crafty, connect the opening of your client’s new branch with current economic trends and you will secure media coverage. Give a seemingly unimportant event global importance.

4. Ignoring the current events around you

In today’s world, it is very important to be aware of the events going on outside your office. If a train jumped off the tracks killing 30 people, you have to know that the media is pretty occupied with that story and that your pitch will go unnoticed. The day when a new “Harry Potter” is premiering in bookstores is not the best day to promote your new “Home cooking” cookbook. There is a time and a place for every story to be published.

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