Top PR Mistakes To Avoid Making

Authored by Asif Upadhye, Director and The Dark Knight, SPRD

The past 15 years or so have had several memorable brand and corporate PR disasters. From refusing to admit to faulty products that resulted in horrific accidents to attempting to put a positive spin on smoking and constructing light-up advertisements that looked like bombs, even the best of the best have fallen prey to making rookie mistakes in the public relations industry.

With social media operating 24/7, it’s practically impossible to avoid having your dirty laundry aired in the open. While all communications professionals make mistakes (hey, we’re all human!), it is important to take a step back and reexamine your existing PR strategy so that you can do your best to avoid making these common errors.

  1. Jack Of All Trades, Master Of None

While having a ‘full-service communications firm’ might work for some, it is the specialist firms who provide personalized services by focusing on what they do best that come out at the top. It is no secret that competition in the PR space is stiff and with clients asking for discounts or PR firms providing extra services for a minimal fee, at the end of the day, businesses do end up suffering.

  1. Misguided Spending

This can be a tricky one, especially if PR professionals do not know their paid media and earned media needs. A parallel mistake that often gets made is targeting only top media outlets in the hopes of obtaining higher traffic, increasing brand awareness and getting the best bang for your buck. The PESO model is a great starting point to bring your media channels together in a way that helps strengthen the unit as a whole.

  1. Mum’s Not Always The Word

While radio silence during a crisis is a complete no-no, it is equally (if not more) important to have a strategic crisis management plan in place. Since crisis management is a significant part of the PR industry, it reflects poorly on a brand if their only communication is ‘No Comment’ when faced with a crisis. So whether you’re a start-up who’s hoping to get your business up and running or if you’re already an established voice in the industry, failing to know what to do if things go south could possibly permanently damage your brand’s reputation.

  1. One Pitch To One Hundred Journalists?

Have you heard of the term, ‘Too many cooks spoil the broth?’ Well, the same logic applies when pitching stories to journalists. If a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t ever work with your clients, why would it fly with media outlets who receive 5 to 500 pitches a week? The trick here is to customize your story and also match the style and tonality of each journalist, individually.

Lastly, a rookie mistake that even PR stalwarts in the industry often make is the inability to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information! While using buzzwords such as ‘life changing’, ‘never seen before’ or ‘the best of the best’ might catch a few eyeballs, it always boils down to whether your story is backed with real-life facts, reviews and also takes into account the consumer experience, as a whole.

Because in an age where everything is digital, what’s worse than overpromising and under delivering?

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and does not necessarily subscribe to it. 


News in the domain of Advertising, Marketing, Media and Business of Entertainment

More in PR