When it comes to making mistakes in PR there are a few common ones that a lot of people in public relations do without realising the impact it can have on the success of your pitches.🏆
Here are 7 mistakes you might be making without knowing you’re making them!🚫
1) Thinking PR is easy💭
This is perhaps the biggest mistake made when entering into a PR role. This can lead to losing control of your clients and possibly losing opportunities to get them featured. This is why it’s not only important to know how important PR is, but also know what mistakes you should look out for, as Business NH Magazine says:
‘Yes, you can make mistakes, however, once you know how to look for them it’s easier than ever to get great results for your business.’
When it comes to making a mistake, it might be that this is out of your hands and is, in fact, a problem concerning the client, but it is still your job to fix the issue.✔️
Business Insider recognises this and provides solutions when you are in a PR crisis, as they have found that:
‘Whether you're dealing with bungled distribution channels, a spokesperson scandal, or an environmental disaster, the way you respond has a direct impact on the future of the company.’
2) Writing poor press releases 👎
Press releases are essential to a successful PR pitch as this is the initial interaction between yourself and the journalist. This means it should be concise, grammatically correct and intriguing.👏
Public Relations Sydney found that:
‘Errors, omissions, poorly worded sentences, lengthy copy, and poor structure are all pitfalls that land press releases in the trash.’
If you need help writing a successful press release take a look at our previous blog post.👈
3) Fearing the follow-up 💻
After you’ve written a successful pitch, there is an essential step that many people miss. You should always follow up on a pitch after 3-5 days if you get no response.🤞
This is something that is feared by a lot of people in PR because of the threat of entering into a journalists junk mailbox. But so long as you only follow up once, in a polite way, it might be that this is what gets you noticed in an inbox of thousands of emails.📚
To understand more on the emailing process for sending a press release, look no further!
4) Poor communication 🗣
Much like writing a bad press release, a common mistake made by PR professionals is general poor communication with journalists. If you maintain a positive relationship with a journalist they might want to keep in contact and come to you for features in the future.
A great place to start with this communication is on Twitter, why not follow some of the journalists we recommend.
5) Poor timing 🕑
This involves two different issues. The first is that journalists are real people too, so don’t pester them at ridiculous hours of the day.😠
The other element to consider is relevance, as B2B PR Blog suggests:
‘When planning your pitch within your PR strategy, be attentive to what's happening in your industry and plan your pitch at a time when it's going to be fresh and relevant.’
6) Not enough research📝
You might be pitching to multiple media outlets daily, but this doesn’t mean the pitch can be the same for each.👎
In order to convince your client is the right match for a journalist request you need to know exactly what they’re looking for. This doesn’t mean simply writing ‘my client is ideal because..’, you should look into previous publications from them and suggest why your pitch fits in.
For more mistakes surrounding rushing pitches take a look at this Vitis PR blog post.
7) Being too picky 🔍
Just because your client wants to be featured in Forbes doesn’t mean that you should ignore every other opportunity. Smaller publications often have more dedicated readers who engage more with the content. So, whilst you spend the appropriate time preparing your pitch for Forbes, consider where your target audience is.🙌
For more tips on how to avoid mistakes such as these 7 common ones take a look at Medium’s advice from 99 different successful PR professionals.
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About the author:
Kate is a Public Relations Assistant and Blog Copywriter Trainee at GuidedPR. She has recently graduated with a first class honours in a BA degree in English Literature and has a keen interest in online journalism. Kate is a creative at heart and wants to become a professional editor or marketing expert in the book publishing industry.
Find Kate on LinkedIn