Dear Lovely Business Owner,
In this post i will be sharing 7 Common PR mistakes, and more importantly, how to avoid them!
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By the way, I have made these mistakes too, many times, so do not think you are the only one!
At least you are putting yourself out there and giving it a whirl. Better to fail forward and then to watch in the sidelines.
1. You make it all about you!!!!
You are super enthusiastic about your product or service, so much so that you want to share with the media client testimonials about how great you are!
Quite frankly, they just do not care!
They want to know how you can help them, not how you have helped others.
They want to know specifically how you can help their audience. So this involves leaving you super enthusiasm at the ‘door’ and focussing on them and their needs.
This is hard for some business owners and entrepreneurs to get their head around, because they are so passionate about what they do!
2. You do not consume their media.
This is sadly quite common. I know have made this mistake too. I have pitched to some newspapers out of enthusiasm without actually having read a journalist’s style only to be rejected flat out.
Whilst this is a common mistake to make it is easily put right by just consuming their media ; be it a radio show, television show, blog, podcast or reading their features in magazines or newspapers.
The time you invest will pay off once you come to pitching, as they are experts in seeing who has taken the time to consume their content, believe me!
3. You pitch to the wrong person
Again, this is rather common too. I have done this too! Sometimes, I admit it is not clear who exactly is the right person to pitch too. So, it is absolutely worth doing that extra bit of research to see, which I mostly do on Twitter, or on Google.
Failing that I just ring them up! Yes, I really do and often I find that people are very helpful too.
Once you have the right person, everything becomes so much easier, and you stand a far greater chance of actually getting a response; provided of course that your pitch is good! That’s a whole other blog post!!
4. You respond too late!
This is tough. It really is. Sometimes you might have literally missed the story. For example: some monthly magazine are now taking pitches for Christmas. so if you wait until September you will have to wait until 2019!
So again, this is where doing that bit of research can be very helpful too. Often again, I would absolutely advocate ringing people up, as they do not expect it.
Make sure when you do this, that you have a pitch in mind, as you might find that they are keen to hear it and you want to make the best possible impression!
5. Your pitch is too long!
This I admit, took me a while and a bit of study to get right. I used to send this two page, long, super long email, with everything about my client in, and it was no wonder I rarely got a response!
Now, do not get me wrong, even with a short, snappy and well-researched pitch email you might not even get a response from the journalist as you they are typically far too busy and get hundreds of emails a day!!
But, truth by told, if you pitch is more than a few paragraphs, it is far too long! Why? Well quite simply they just do not have time to wade through it all.
It is far better to have a few short and snappy paragraphs which you can intrigue them with, initially enough for them to get back to you! Once they have got back to you, then of course you can send them more information!
6. You have no relationship with them
Journalists are real people too you know, yes really. So, it is worth thinking that they are much more likely to be asking their own network of people they like, know and trust first before they reach out to strangers.
So, start by following them on Twitter and liking their posts, and retweeting them and seeing how you can help them.
Then, start commenting on their tweets and engaging with them. You will notice the difference, once you come to pitch or respond to one of their pitches on Twitter, they will be a lot more responsive!
Without a relationship, yes you might get a one-off successful piece of PR, but like with anything it is all about the long-game. So, you have to keep nurturing that relationship in order to succeed long-term.
7. You hound them.
This is something again I have done, out of desperation to be featured in something, am embarrassed to admit. It was not until I just looked at what I was doing from their viewpoint, it finally dawned on me.
Also, when I had a chat to one of my journalist friends who enlightened me about her working day and the pressure she was under to respond to stories, get work done and stay on top of the emails! I was like oh… I get it now.. ( insert face palm gif!!)
I had no idea. So, yes follow up, but not too intensely, because it will just cause them to not even want to respond to you, as it will feel aggressive and rather unpleasant for them and you do not really want them to have that feeling about you, do you?!! Not really.
I trust that helps.
i’d love your comments below.
If you are looking to have your PR managed get in touch and book a chat with me : firstname.lastname@example.org
Love Carrie x
P.s I’d love to know any questions that you want answering in a blog, so do please let me know!