Some smaller mistakes can be avoided by being aware of best practices in PR and by learning what not to do when communicating with the media.
Here are some of our top tips to help you avoid common PR mistakes.
Always be prepared
Whether it’s for a media interview, sending out a media pitch or just a regular day in the office, your business needs to be prepared for any PR opportunities that may arise. This involves having an appropriate spokesperson that has had media training and is ready to conduct media interviews on short notice.
Don’t start PR activities too late
If you want media coverage for a particular event, project or campaign, you need to start your PR activities well in advance. Many print magazines start putting together their next issue three months before it is published. This means you will need to contact these journalists at least three months before your event or project.
Other factors can affect how fast you are able to gain media coverage for your event or project such as whether the journalist is available, how much space is available in the publication and whether the journalist is interested in your story. You may also need to leave some time to readjust your PR strategy if the current one is not producing the best results. A long-term approach to PR is then more effective.
Make sure content is approved
Before sending any content, such as articles, to a journalist make sure it has been approved by the appropriate people. For example, if you work in a PR agency you will need to make sure your client approves any content before sending it out. If you are conducting PR activities for your business make sure your supervisor is happy with the content before sending it out.
If something is published that is inaccurate it could damage the business’ reputation as well as damage your reputation with the journalist.
Avoid sending out mass media pitches
Sending out a mass media release or media pitch to any and every journalist or publication is not a good PR tactic. A better tactic is to research the publications and key journalists who would be interested in your story. For example, find out what topics the journalist normally covers, the audience of the publication and whether they would be interested in your story. You can then send your media release to these key journalists because it is relevant to them. This will give you a better chance of gaining a media opportunity and you won’t annoy journalists with irrelevant media pitches.
Do your research
Before contacting a journalist make sure you do your research and find out as much information about them as possible. You could be at risk of damaging your relationship with a journalist if you call them the wrong name, forget their publication name, don’t know when their publication is published or hassle them when they are on deadline.
Don’t ignore social media
Social media is a great channel to help you directly communicate with your target audience and engage them in conversations. If you don’t have a presence on social media you could be missing out on many opportunities to build your brand awareness, attract new customers to the business and create a valuable relationship with customers.
Do have a PR strategy
A PR strategy will help you organise your PR activities and make strategic decisions on the best way to communicate. An effective PR strategy will help you to use the stories in your business to draw in your target audience as well as increase your profile and build brand awareness.
By implementing these tips you can hopefully avoid some common PR mistakes. If you do make a mistake, manage the issue, learn from it and move on.
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Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more great tips visit our website www.cpcommunications.com.au.