The Five PR No No’s

Torie Covington // Jul 27 // Insights

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The Five PR No No’s

The phrase “all press is good press” - is it really true? Reality stars like Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna might think so, but every good publicist knows that is a losing strategy for a business. Bad publicity can negatively impact a brand’s consumer perceptions. Chipotle, Wells Fargo and Samsung are just a few of the brands we’ve seen take a hit in the last year, according to these annual rankings.

PR myths and blunders come in many forms and sizes.

And we don’t want you to become another media victim (because you’re reading this post and that means we like you).

So, here’s a look at some of the Top PR No No’s to avoid:

  1. Omitting crucial information, embellishing or exaggerating to better position your brand. Consumers are smart and do their research. If they smell bulls&*@!, they will call you out. Remember the time Juicero sold a very expensive juicer with packs of fruit, but it turned out the packs could be pressed by hand, without the high-tech juicer? The company is still struggling to recover from that gigantic omission, recently announcing a “strategic shift” that includes cutting 25% of its staff.
  2. Pissing off a journalist. Don’t be that guy that bashes a reporter for publishing an unfavorable story. Or the client that promises an exclusive to one publication then gives it to another at the last minute. Media relations is crucial to PR success, and fostering positive relationships with journalists is a big part of that.
  3. Overloading a press release with buzzwords like “market-leading” and “disruptive.” Your brand is awesome, I get it. But using too many superlatives to describe a product or service is a turn-off for journalists. Keep things short and to the point, and your awesome brand will speak for itself.
  4. Lashing out to negative criticism. Sometimes it’s hard to deal with negative feedback, especially on public forums like social media, but fighting fire with fire only makes things worse. Google "Amy’s Baking Company". Need I say more?
  5. Cringeworthy writing mistakes. In PR, we spend a lot of time writing, and yes, sometimes mistakes happen. But there are certain writing faux-pas that you want to avoid at all costs. These include but are not limited to: using too many exclamation points!!!!!; simple grammar and spelling errors; excessive smiley faces/emojis; and misspelling someone’s name or company. Personally, I go by the age-old motto: when in doubt, throw it out.

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