Scariest PR Mistakes

As Halloween approaches, it’s the season of scary movies, haunted houses, and spooky costumes. But if there’s a scare you want to avoid now (or any time of year really) it’s the dreaded PR mistake. Truly, this is the stuff of nightmares for your business and some mistakes are unfortunately all too common. Here are the top five scariest PR mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Not understanding your audience

By this, we mean not only your customers and potential customers but also the publications and journalists to which you are pitching. Just because your “news” is important to you doesn’t mean it’s important to these groups. So, before sending anything make sure it’s something your customers need/should know about and that you’re reaching the right journalists and publications to get that message across.

2. Ignoring media relations

If your business only gets in touch with journalists when you want them to cover something for you, then your chance of success is slim. Don’t have the time to cultivate and nurture these relationships? This is where a PR firm can be particularly helpful and is actually a specialty area for us. We’ve spent years on media relations in lifestyle industries such as restaurants, hospitality, retail, health and wellness, and non-profits, which is why we get such great coverage for our clients.

3. Going only for the big names

Who wouldn’t want coverage in the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times, they’re the ultimate in credibility right? But that doesn’t mean they’re the best fit for the message you want to share with your audience. And, unless your news is BIG, they likely won’t give you the time of day. Instead, consider industry publications and/or even local publications. They’re much more targeted meaning you know your audience is reading them, and you’re much more likely to stand out. 

4. Creating a promotional pitch

Yes, the idea is to promote your business. BUT, when you’re pitching to news publications, your pitch has to be newsworthy! Huh? This type of PR is called earned media which essentially means you are earning free coverage instead of paying for promotion. You can’t just submit a sales brochure on your latest product and call it a pitch. You have to put together a story that showcases your business. Think case studies, unique applications, timely events, etc. Again, this is where a PR firm can help you shine. We know what journalists are looking for and the types of pitches that work (or don’t).

5. Winging a media interview

Finally, it’s happened, you’ve pitched and a journalist wants to interview you for a story. Great news! But that’s just the beginning. Although you may know your business inside and out, interviewing skills don’t come naturally to most. Not to mention, you likely won’t know the angle the journalist is going to take which may throw you on the spot. As such media prep is a must so you know exactly what messages you want to get across and can do so effortlessly. A PR firm can also help you immensely here by conducting mock interviews, creating talking points, and more so the coverage presents your business in the best light.

To learn more about how R public relations services can help your business, click HERE to schedule a FREE Discovery Call today!