The Do’s and Don’ts of the PR World

The world of PR is a lot of fun and can be very rewarding. However, in order to accomplish your Client’s goals and targets it is important that PR professionals keep in mind a few simple do’s and don’ts. They may seem extremely logical but it is surprising how many PR professionals can forget due to hectic schedules, intense deadlines and a LOT of multi-tasking.

DO

Grab a reporter’s attention by choosing your words carefully. Make sure that you are familiar with their work and you are aware of the things they enjoy writing about and then tailor your pitch to suit them. Remember words wield immense power. Keep your pitch short and sweet, make sure it is relevant to the reporter and their publication and sum up how the story you are pitching is going to benefit their audience!

DON’T

Remember, just like you have deadlines so do the reporters you are pitching to. If you are pitching a story, do not do it when they are trying to close a publication or file a story – they are not going to have time to chat to you and they will not like the fact that you have not taken their time seriously. If you are already working with them on a story – DO NOT MISS THEIR DEADLINE! They have to make sure they can submit their work in time – just like you have to share content with your Client on time. If you don’t like it being done to you (and I know every PR professional, will complain at least once, of how their Client’s do not respect their time) then don’t do it to others. Another 2 quick no no’s are spamming and sharing content with no images – helllloooooooo…we live in a digital age – everything goes online and everyone wants to see a picture of it!

DO

Make sure you have your finger on the pulse when it comes to anything to do with your Client. By that I mean use social media monitoring tools – these can range from Google Alerts to Facebook, twitter, Instagram stalking! Keep in mind you need to be aware of your Client’s news as well as trending topics in that particular industry and just for the extra mile keep an eye on your Client’s competitors, we don’t want them stealing our limelight!

DON’T

Long negative rants on social media forums, especially if your Client has access to those forums is never a good idea! Do not get carried away and always try and maintain a professional image on Social Media. Remember, people will be sussing you out on Facebook way before they meet you in person. Don’t hide the fact that there have been a number of times that you have Facebooked/twitter stalked a new Client before a meeting. Think about it this way, if your Client was to set up a Google Alert with your name, what information would you want them getting?

DO

Manage your Client’s expectations, learn how to say no when you need to and set out a clear approval process. Have confidence in yourself and your abilities as a PR consultant – nothing is more convincing than confidence. If a Client is being slightly too pushy or rude, find a way to explain your side of the story in a rational and logical way, make sure you have the facts and if necessary the stats to back up what you are saying. Ensure that you have set realistic goals from the onset and make sure you remind your Client of those goals – do not let yourself be a pushover, eventually your skin gets tougher!

DON’T

Do not be afraid of your Client – you are the expert in your field and in the region you are in, you are the one consulting them, take charge. Do not simply be a ‘yes’ robot. If your Client wants to do something in the region – for example launch a product or issue a press release that you feel will not work – speak your mind that is your job. Never ignore a situation, if something is not going to plan address it with your Client straight away and suggest an alternative or a solution. Mistakes happen, it is how you find your way back that will define your success.

DO

Be proactive. Research. Pitch. Be present. If a story has come out and it is relevant to your Client reach out to them and suggest a commentary piece or call up the reporter and ask them if they are interested in a larger story. If your Client sends you a release that you believe could gain coverage if certain parts were altered – make the alterations and suggest that your Client use the amended version and explain why. Pitch and close interviews, be present at that interview with your Client, advise them and direct them, build their trust in you and allow them to watch you work your magic in your element. Generate valuable content on a regular basis. This highlights that you are continuously identifying trends and are able to provide reliable, solid information. Once again, this will build your Client’s trust in your abilities.

DON’T

Lack of motivation is not a good look on anyone. Do not simply send something out because you have been told to. Do not source semi-relevant coverage just so you can say you achieved coverage. Engage with your Client – hold brainstorming sessions and make sure you show your interest in what your Client does. Do not sit idle and allow your Client’s competitor to snatch all the good PR opportunities away!

things to remember