Public relations is a critical aspect of any business. But what are the dos and don'ts of PR? Five PR sites loaded with expert input weighed in on the topic, and here are 10 of the top takeaways.
"Wouldn't it be handy if you had a list of rules to help you with PR? Well, here you go! We thought we'd make it easier for you to get to grips with public relations, so we put together this handy list of do's and don'ts to help you develop your strategy."
"DO: Send tailored pitches to journalists
After you identify which media outlets you want to target, research them and the journalist. Find out what topics they cover and what kind of stories they usually publish. Try to think what would be the best angle to pitch your story to each journalist/media outlet you want to contact. Once you figure this out, send a tailored pitch, making it clear you know their publication and telling why your pitch is worth their audience’s attention."
"...send a tailored pitch, making it clear you know their publication and telling why your pitch is worth their audience’s attention."
"DON’T: Approach the media without researching about them
Journalists receive hundreds of pitches every day and it can be really frustrating to get emails that have nothing to do with the issues and topics they cover. It can be a huge embarrassment to you and your brand."
"...it can be really frustrating to get emails that have nothing to do with the issues and topics they cover."
"We asked our PR and growth experts: What are Do's and Don'ts for a Successful Public Relations Campaign? Each of the experts provides one DO and one DON'T example for founders to improve their PR."
Hilary Reiter, Owner of Redhead Marketing & PR:
"DON’T follow up with multiple contacts at the same outlet, unless you are pitching them on completely different angles. For example, if you are a tech company launching a new product, it’s ok to contact a tech writer with that pitch and separately reach out to a sustainability writer at the same outlet if your company is incorporating a new environmental social impact initiative."
"DON’T follow up with multiple contacts at the same outlet, unless you are pitching them on completely different angles."
Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.com:
"DO explore niche media that has a loyal audience. Many businesses make the mistake of only seeking prestige PR in outlets like Forbes or Fortune, but the truth is their audience may not make up all of that readership. Instead, the audience is likely spending time with niche outlets like podcasts and websites that cater to more selective, but enthusiastic, groups of fans. Find your niche outlets and focus on being part of their coverage. Their fans will be eager to learn about what your company does and how leadership works to solve problems for its customer base."
"Find your niche outlets and focus on being part of their coverage."
"You crafted an amazing pitch that has garnered interest from a journalist, now what? Follow the do's and don'ts of media relations."
"DO BE TIMELY.
Generally, reporters work on several stories at once, not just the one they’re in communication with your publicist about. Reporters have deadlines, and the sources who get back to them the fastest are most likely to be included in their stories."
"...the sources who get back to them the fastest are most likely to be included in their stories."
"DO PROMOTE THE STORY.
Once a story is published about your company, product or service, get the word out about it! Promoting the published story is a great way to show your appreciation for the journalist and ensure you’re considered for future stories. Post a link to the story on your company’s website and social media channels; draft a blog post about the article. Don’t forget to tag the journalist and publication. It’s also a nice touch to drop them a line thanking them!"
"Once a story is published...get the word out about it!"
"Do you know how to strategically pitch around holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday? You want ensure your clients know you're identifying the right opportunities for them."
"Don't just spin information to 'make it work'."
"Do think further beyond this one day or event when sourcing new content or re-purposing older materials. Try to find ways to get more mileage out of whatever angle you’re creating by thinking about how you can make it relevant and evergreen for broader outreach outside of this hook."
"Try to find ways to get more mileage out of whatever angle you’re creating..."
"In a previous blog post I wrote about how to write a winning press pitch. But this time, I'd like to offer some basic Dos and Don'ts on how to avoid having your press pitch become the next headline for “bad PR” and instead become an amazing story idea a reporter just can't refuse."
"DON'T get bogged down with boring details or fancy jargon in your pitch; DO use a concise, creative writing style that gets right to the point, is cleverly constructed and fun to read. The average reporter gets close to 100 e-mail pitches a day, and the top guns get way more than that. So think about how your pitch can stand above the rest by appealing to the reporter's interests and individual style, while delivering an entertaining read.
Pitches that are impossible to understand because they're filled with industry buzzwords and a long-winded introduction will lose the reporter's interest before they even get to the heart of the matter."
"DO use a concise, creative writing style that gets right to the point."
"DON'T ignore social media sources for relationship building; DO use Twitter, LinkedIn and other social platforms wisely. Social media offers an additional channel to learn more about the reporter you're targeting by following them and keeping an eye on what they're writing about, learning more about their interests, and often times engaging in an online conversation. Be mindful not to misuse Twitter or other social tools as a means for pitching a reporter. This can only backfire, with you being shamed along with others for poor PR etiquette."
"DON'T ignore social media sources for relationship building..."
Summing up, effective PR takes hard work, strategy and finesse. But by observing these insights and advice, you create a successful PR campaign that will engage your target audience and generate positive results.
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