Maker's Guide: 17 common PR mistakes to avoid

Andrew Kpyto
20 replies
Hi, PH community! Let me share some PR-related advices, like a short summary "what NOT to do while PR you project". Get it from short Andrea Holland course and want to share a short brief. One mistake — one comment, I'll add first 17 one's :)

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Andrew Kpyto
Digital Marketer at Sembly AI ‍🚀
1. Getting the reporter's name wrong This sounds so obvious and simple, right? You will get an answer like "If you can't even get my name right, "why should I respond to you?" Or, "Sorry, was this meant to go to Amelie instead?" This is still one of the number one mistakes that people make when emailing reporters. How to avoid it? 1) Pay attention to the details; 2) Do not use a mail merge; 3) Customize each individual email to make sure everything is right 4) Press 'Send'
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Andrew Kpyto
Digital Marketer at Sembly AI ‍🚀
2. Using off-the-record during interviews Avoid the mistake of trying to be "off the record" during a media interview. Your risky offhand comment could cost you material damage to your business. How to avoid it? Don't say anything that you wouldn't want to be printed.
Andrew Kpyto
Digital Marketer at Sembly AI ‍🚀
3. Don’t capitalize on a crisis You don't want to be the company that's remembered for capitalizing on a crisis for your own benefit. Here's what you can do instead: 1) Number one, be human and candid; 2) Be helpful, not opportunistic!
Andrew Kpyto
Digital Marketer at Sembly AI ‍🚀
4. Sending out mass email pitch blasts It's important for you to avoid the mistake of sending out mass email pitch blasts. Your pitch needs to be personal. It needs to be relevant. If you get an email request from somebody asking for something but it was clearly not catered to you and it looked like it was sent to a hundred other people, would you care? No! Keep this in mind.
Andrew Kpyto
Digital Marketer at Sembly AI ‍🚀
5. Writing a long pitch You have seconds to grab the journalist's attention with your subject line and your first paragraph. Reporters get upwards of 500+ emails per day! If you can't explain your news in two paragraphs, do you really know what your news is?
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Andrew Kpyto
Digital Marketer at Sembly AI ‍🚀
6. Following up just to follow up Please do not follow up, just to follow up unless you have something new to say. If you have not heard back and it's been a few days, be mindful and add value. Do you have any new information that journalists don't have? A new stat, a new angle, a new finding? If you do, that's a great reason to follow up.
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Andrew Kpyto
Digital Marketer at Sembly AI ‍🚀
7. Attacking your competition You know what you're doing better than anyone else. So talk about that. What are your key differentiators? What are you doing to provide value? At the end of the day, if your product or service is superior, you don't need to name any names. It's simple!
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Andrew Kpyto
Digital Marketer at Sembly AI ‍🚀
8. Commenting with no comment To the media, saying, "No comment" actually implies guilt or omission. It's important that you avoid the mistake of using "No comment" to not answer a question. Here are a few alternatives that are generally received well. "I'm sorry, but that information is confidential." Or "I'm actually unsure, can I get back to you on that?" Try one of those the next time you're stuck in a tricky interview.
Andrew Kpyto
Digital Marketer at Sembly AI ‍🚀
9. Misunderstanding media relations Why would a reporter go seeking you out when they don't even know you exist? Don't spend your time writing a press release that's going to fall on deaf ears, and avoid the mistake of misunderstanding the value of media relations. A press release is the first step. You need media relations. Media relations is the act of relating to the media. This can come in the form of crafting a tailored pitch that you email, having a phone conversation, or engaging on Twitter or other social platforms.
Andrew Kpyto
Digital Marketer at Sembly AI ‍🚀
10. Harnessing the power of timing Imagine that you send a press release about the app being in the tech space on the same day as Apple's developer conference. You need to create the main events calendar that outlined every company in your industry.
Andrew Kpyto
Digital Marketer at Sembly AI ‍🚀
11. Understanding what is newsworthy You don't want to be the company that gets known for putting out news that isn't newsworthy, because then, a reporter will never answer your email. Know that journalists want to drive traffic to their stories. They want interesting content so that people will click. So in brainstorming angles to pitch reporters, ask yourself this, "Is your news going to make somebody click on the article?"
Andrew Kpyto
Digital Marketer at Sembly AI ‍🚀
12. Hiring PR when you’re not ready If you do talk to the press, you're going to be asked questions that you're not able to answer and that can be really detrimental to your brand and future relationships. Spend some time with your why to determine clear goals. Do you want more leads? Are you trying to become a thought leader? Are you moving into a new market? You also want to make sure that your product is ready for the power that PR can bring.
Andrew Kpyto
Digital Marketer at Sembly AI ‍🚀
13. Selecting the wrong publication for your pitch We want to be in TechCrunch. Why? Because it's a rite of passage! Are your customers reading TechCrunch? Oh, I'm not sure. Then why do you want to be in there? Because it's TechCrunch! Yes, big media outlets provide amazing metrics, great traffic, referrals, and increased brand awareness. But none of it matters if your audience isn't there.
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Andrew Kpyto
Digital Marketer at Sembly AI ‍🚀
14. Pitching multiple reporters at the same time Avoid the mistake of pitching multiple reporters at the same publication at the same time. If your story is specific to a certain beat, send it to that reporter.
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Andrew Kpyto
Digital Marketer at Sembly AI ‍🚀
15. Using the wrong communication channel Like pitching a story to the right audience, think about communicating with the reporter where they're most active. Is it the comment section of their piece? Is it social media? Is it email? Interact with them, comment on their stories, engage with them, build an online relationship and put a face or avatar to a name. This is a great opportunity for you to start building a relationship with them and ultimately you will have far more success getting them to write about you if they know you before you ever pitch them.
Andrew Kpyto
Digital Marketer at Sembly AI ‍🚀
16. Using buzzwords to make your point This is the world's first, game changing, proprietary comment that will be revolutionary. It's going to upend the entire ProductHunt. Okay, hold on :) Saying this is world changing, or world's first, is a pretty lofty statement, and it takes a lot to back that up. Furthermore, if you can't back that up, you will lose a lot of credibility. Remember, at the end of the email, tweet, or phone call is another human. Even in an email, your tone comes through, pretentious comes through, trying too hard comes through, entitlement comes through. Be kind, be factually correct, and get to the point.
Andrew Kpyto
Digital Marketer at Sembly AI ‍🚀
17. Get started on the right foot PR has the potential to be very powerful if done correctly. Thanks Andrea Holland for this advices! I'm happy to share it with PH community. PR is one of the fastest evolving industries which means as a business owner or entrepreneur or PR professional, you need to stay on top of your game and by knowing what not to do, you're already a step ahead.
Ira GI
Technology girl, software development
Awesome information! Thank you very much for sharing. I wrote it down in notes!
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ᗰᗩ᙭ ᒍ.
Building mnd
Wow thanks so much!
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Ana Dodig
I like Ice Skating, old movies & SaaS
Andrew, I have to say - such a great post and info! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. It's very useful and concise!
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