We proudly present: 6 fatal mistakes in PR

There are some rules in PR that have to be followed if you want to successfully publish stories in the media. The reason why we have such great relationships with journalists is because we do everything we can to avoid the following six PR sins.

1. The golden rule: quality instead of quantity!

Very important: never spam journalists with press releases! Especially not with ones that have nothing new to say. If journalists realize that your mailings lack storylines or a USP (Unique Selling Proposition), your emails will always be left unread and deleted in the future. In the best case, you can excite a journalist with an exclusive storyline that you offer them before anyone else.

2. Press releases are not advertisements 

Be careful not to use a press release as pure advertisement for a product or company. If the text is too self glorifying or promotional and overloaded with information, it will end up in the bin right away. The solution: type out why your product or services are interesting for the journalist in a few short sentences – this way you hit the mark. 

3. A celebrity story for the economic editor? A no-go!

Worst case: Your story proposal ends up in the wrong media or even in the wrong section. What is a business journalist supposed to do with a story about the new Bachelor? It is crucial to research the right contact beforehand and offer them a tailor-made story that matches their paper’s usual content.

4. Following up over the phone: Yes, but please in the right way! 

“Have you already read my press release?”: please never mention this sentence when following up over the phone. Nowadays, every editorial department has to deliver news as quickly as possible. Therefore, journalists don’t have much time to read carefully through their email inbox. The best you can do is to sell the story again in an exciting way and briefly talk about the most important facts. Top tip: KISS – keep it simple and stupid. Because people have a shorter attention span than goldfish these days! And by the way: ‘No’ really means ‘No’.

5. Journalists can’t be bought 

Journalists face more and more rules regarding compliance and gifts they can accept. This is especially true for expensive giveaways which are supposed to make them write something in return. Blackmailing for media coverage is definitely a no-go. Rather convince them with clever words and a good story.

6. No story without a picture! 

The most exciting interview is worthless without a good picture. When it comes to media images, please note: No boring food pictures or shots without people. Journalists can easily fall back on stock material if needed. If you want to convince them, you need action and preferably protagonists. The old-school ribbon-cut-and-smile-at-the-camera is definitely outdated. Our tip: Make sure to actively stage surprising pictures with the most important people on site to produce content for the media that sparks interest in your story.