Creating a public relations marketing plan can be extremely exciting for your business. Getting a feature in a local or even national publication is a huge win! However, in all the buzz of executing a PR strategy, companies make little mistakes that leave their media pitches lost in journalists’ inboxes. Make sure your news makes headlines by avoiding these common mishaps.
1. Forgetting to Research Reporters
One of the biggest mistakes companies make is forgetting to research the reporter and publication they are reaching out to. As a result, business owners end up sharing news with a writer with a completely different beat or a publication that their customers don’t even read. It’s important to do your research beforehand. Learn the reporters’ names, their beat, and who their audience is. Then when you get ready to reach out to them about your news, make sure to spell their name correctly and clearly state why your news matters to their audience. Avoid sending blasts of emails to several publications or writers. Being impersonal or getting a name wrong will immediately send your email to the trash.
2. Sending a Novel-Length Newsless Pitch
Reporters receive several hundred emails each day from individuals and businesses looking to get featured. It’s important that you create a pitch that stands out. The top reason many of these pitches are ignored is that they are paragraphs long and aren’t newsworthy. Many are long-winded statements about how great a company is but lack traction or even facts and figures. And if a writer won’t click to open your email, their audience won’t click to read your story either. Here’s how to make sure your information is newsworthy:
- Show how your news ties into a larger industry trend
- Share data and proof of performance
- Include quotes and testimonials
- Wrap it into a popular news topic
3. Delivering News at the Wrong Time
Timing is everything when it comes to public relations. Whether you are pitching a writer or sending out a mass press release, bad timing can ruin your whole marketing plan. Ensure you have the optimal sending window by researching big events happening in your industry. For example, if you’re trying to share tech news, don’t do it during CES. EVERY reporter will be at the event covering what’s happening on the floor and will be unavailable to cover your news. It’s also important to avoid capitalizing on crises as well in order to push your news to the top. Your releases and pitches should be helpful, not opportunistic. Find the right timing and remember to be human. After all, you’re communicating with another person on the other end of that email or pitch.
Public relations can open many new doors for your business. Before you start pitching, make sure you are sharing newsworthy information at the right time with the right people. Getting results takes time, planning, and expertise.
63% of companies have difficulty communicating with journalists and publications.
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