Also in the new year you want to ensure that your brand is better known through PR. Because it ensures more visitors to your site, because it ensures that the organization is seen as an expert or because you are simply launching a new brand. You better avoid these six PR blunders in the new year.
1. Consider PR for advertising
Don’t think journalists are going to advertise you. You must have the best company in the world, where the best people work to make the very best product ever. And there may even be an independent party that confirms that you really are the very best on this planet. But there is little chance that a journalist will want to convey that message as news.
You have a different interest than an editor and it is good to think about that. You would prefer to see an article that praises your product or company (almost an advertisement) but then packaged as an independent article. However, a journalist must provide independent and factual news, leaving no room for one-sided or commercial reporting. So don’t think that a journalist is going to advertise your business, but be happy if you are mentioned as a source in a piece at all. That exposure is what it’s all about: apparently you are a reliable source or expert. How valuable is that? (Very).
2. Taking everything for news
You move into a new office building. And that is why you are very busy packing your things and furnishing your new office. That demands a lot from your company. However, that is not news.
The same goes for the haphazard launch of new services, companies and products. As long as you cannot explain why this new solution is needed, there is no need to foster the illusion that a journalist would write about it.
A nice litmus test is to read a trade magazine or newspaper and see if similar stories have been written to the one you currently have in your head. Always ask yourself: are there any similar stories written in the press?
3. Use these adjectives
Remember we shouldn’t confuse PR with advertising? Therefore it is necessary to always avoid a number of words in a press release. These words ensure that your press release comes across as an advertising text.
These adjectives, cliché words and promotional texts are prohibited in a press release:
- Special, unique, unique, exceptional, distinctive
- Inexpensive, cheaper
- Better, dear
- Right now, strange times, special times, crazy years
- Number one for years
4. Careless handling of press contacts
Consider that you are in a dependent position on the press. You want journalists to write about your organization. At the same time, a journalist has a deadline and your story is one of the options for the piece he or she is writing. That relationship is never in balance. So make sure you make an editor’s life as easy as possible.
How do you build a relationship with the press? Remember, journalists are really just like people. Treat them like that too. They like it when you call them back if you promise. They appreciate if you are honest with them. Be flexible: cancel an appointment so that the interview can continue. Maybe you have images that enrich the play or you can provide a second or third source for a story. Look for ways to make writing an article as easy as possible.
5. Use a press list with 10,000+ contacts
Why doesn’t it make sense to send 10,000 journalists the same message? First of all, you will end up on the spam list of many journalists. Not super handy if you want to reach them again later. In addition, a journalist would like to know why you think this topic is relevant for that journalist or medium.
How it should be done?
‘I am approaching you with this message because I see that you write about the housing market for NRC Handelsblad. I have a post about a brokerage survey and I think your readers might find that interesting. ‘
Because you already consider whether your message is relevant to a journalist, the chance of publication increases.
6. Know everything about everything
Yes! You have arranged an interview in that magazine that your target audience reads regularly. The interview will eventually turn into a smooth conversation, in which you will also be asked about things you don’t know much about. Such as the imminent reorganization at banks. As a highly skilled professional, it is tempting to share your opinion – because why not? You know about everything, right?
Wrong. You don’t have to have an opinion about everything. You would prefer to share your knowledge. When you talk about other things, you run two risks. First of all, this other topic could be found more interesting than what you want to share with the world. You can also quickly find yourself on slippery ice, because the conversation ends up on a topic that you do not understand.
PR is not advertising
PR doesn’t have to be difficult. Remember that PR is not advertising. Now and then ask yourself whether something is really newsworthy. Avoid words that will find your press release commercially. Be careful with your press contacts. Don’t send a message to 10,000 journalists. And then once you’ve scored that interview, make sure to stay close to your core message.
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