Moving swiftly on, here’s the third PR sin in our series of 7 deadly PR sins

Sin 3: Being ignorant

Can you be ignorant without knowing it? Are you wasting a journalist’s time with this PR sin? Is it possible that your press releases earn you nothing more than an irritated eye-roll when read? I would put money on it happening on many occasions. Want to know why?

You’re so caught up in your brand and getting your message out there, you’ve forgotten about the most important people in the equation. I’ll give you a clue… it’s called PUBLIC relations.

PR is about communicating with the public. More specifically, with your target audience. Interacting with the right people is one of the things that turns good PR into great PR. This work is our bread and butter at Rev PR but if you’re trying to fit media relations into your busy schedule and you haven’t taken the time to reflect on who you’re speaking to, your press releases and pitches could be wide of the mark.

So, do your research and work out what titles your customers are most likely to read. Make a hit list of the top online, print and broadcast channels in which you would like coverage.

Now you know where you would like to be featured, here are three ways to help make it happen and avoid being labelled as ignorant or lazy:

  1. Be a customer – buy, subscribe to and/or just get your hands on the publications you want to be in. Then… shock horror! Actually read them. How can you possibly expect an editor to take you seriously if what you send to them is so far from their usual content, they would have to completely rewrite it to make it work? Or if it’s totally off-piste and would alienate or, even worse, offend their readership? Seems ignorant of you, doesn’t it?
  2. Write pitches and articles to suit the publication – pay attention to the tone and the language used. Note down the styles of the articles and any regular themes or features. Tailor your pitches and press releases to show you understand their content and can provide value for readers. For example, avoid sending in lengthy opinion pieces when they clearly prefer to use Q&A-style articles. It makes you look… yes, you guessed it.
  3. Get in touch – with just a little bit of effort you can make a big impact. Try speaking to a reporter or editor to find out exactly the kind of content they’re looking for. Yes, they’re busy people so won’t want a lengthy discussion but a quick chat to ask a few pre-prepared questions will serve you well for months to come.

The more you practice this, the better you’ll become. What you build by repeating the process is a more efficient, more successful and, ultimately, more rewarding system for your PR efforts.

If you have been sending out a blanket email to 200 media contacts, hoping that one or more of them will pick up and run your piece, then you’ll have been creating some serious eye-rolling action! Following our advice will keep you off the blacklists of journos everywhere!

Stay tuned for next week’s PR sin reveal.

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