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Thursday, February 23, 2012

How NOT To Do PR

I came across a recent article on called "How NOT to Do Public Relations" and thought it was worth sharing. Now, we all know that PR is not the same as marketing, but many marketers are doing PR too.

The executive who was interviewed, Peter Shankman, "founded a company called HARO (Help A Reporter Out) which did “matchmaking” between reporters and sources, helping the reporters to find expert commentary without taking the time to cut through the muck of blind PR pitching."

If part of your job is trying to get journalists to cover your news, you might want to heed Shankman's advice. His first comment was not to pitch "news" that isn't very newsworthy. If someone asks you to do it, say no. The rest of his advice boiled down to this:
  • Know your audience. For God’s sake – READ WHAT THEY’VE WRITTEN BEFORE YOU PITCH.
  • Know how they like to be pitched. It’s not hard to find out
  • Spell/Grammar check. Want to make sure I never write about you? Pitch me with a grammar error. And for what it’s worth, this goes for journalists, too – your HARO query is being seen by 200,000 sources worldwide. Would it kill you to check your spelling?
That all seems basic, but I've seen many PR people who don't do those things. Don't be one of them!

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