Getting Your PR Wrong

Getting your PR wrong can happen to the best of us. That’s why Public Relations requires careful planning. Public relations campaigns need to include an understanding of evolving news cycles, industry trends and audience perceptions. Yes, most of us are getting our PR wong.

But most PR agencies treat it like it’s a numbers game. They take the information you gave them run it through a type of algorithm to figure out how to bring your story to new audiences and wonder why your messages have gone flat. We’re all guilty of the same practice. Write up a generally dull press release, develop a long list of journalists, and press send.

Return to Relationship Building

Even though most journalists are on Twitter, checking their mobile phones hourly for the latest news, the relationship still matters. Take the time to call one journalist and learn what matters to him or her. You might find out you’ve got the right product or service for the magazines.

PR campaign with a clear purpose

If you’re hoping to get noticed or you need to write a press release because you have a package with a PR distribution company, these are not good reasons.

I’ve written many press releases for minor software updates, and let’s face it if you’re not Apple, you won’t get must attention. If there isn’t a major update, this is usually not news. It’s not to say you won’t get a plug; it may take more work, but it could be worth the effort. What you’ll need is:

  • Have your “pitch” ready
  • Define a clear PR theme and brand message
  • Know the magazine or paper you’re contacting
  • Believe your press release

Keep the PR message simple

When writing a press release, keep it simple. Get to the point, avoid complicated sentences and grandiose statements. Review your writing with a readability test and avoid jargon.

Write like a PR Pro

For most press releases, these are not planned out or given the importance, it deserves. It is usually handed down to a junior staffer without a proper understanding of its true purpose.

Hire the right PR Agency

What to do when you get your PR wrong?

A press release represents your company and future relationship with the media. You might want to hold off on writing any more press releases. Instead, take the time to develop a relationship with several journalists.

You might want to consider taking on the writing of the press release yourself. The closer you are to the message and understanding who is going to read it, the better you’ll be able to customize your message and pitches for them.

Consider splitting up the media coverage. Assign 5 to 10 magazines to senior management, where they need to take 10 minutes a day to reach out to the journalist.

Should you decide to work with a PR Agency, different firms have different strengths. A PR agency usually has connections to a specific market, a comprehensive list of events and contacts in the industry you’re trying to get publicity. Give them all they need to understand your company. Finally, you have to continuously give your PR team new content, announcements, angles, pitches, etc.

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