I don’t know everything about the communications industry and I don’t pretend to. I still have much to learn (and think we all do regardless of how long we have practiced), but there are a few things I have picked up on what not to do. Here are five ways to be a lousy PR practitioner:
- Stop Learning – Communication is dynamic and constantly evolving. Communication tactics that worked five years ago (or even last year) may not be the best solution for a client challenge tomorrow. It is important to read, read, and read some more. Be knowledgeable of new technology and stay aware of changing ideals with each generation.
- Believe the Client is Always Right – While we have to be sensitive to why a client may disagree with a proposed course of action, sometimes we just have to be better in explaining the plan. If we are presenting an idea, that means we took the time to research, vet the situation and find the best solution through strategy. Understand when ‘no’ means ‘I don’t see the value in that’ and provide further clarification to ensure everyone is on the same page before taking an idea off of the table.
- Send the Same Pitch to Every Reporter you Have Ever Met – Blasting the same email to all contacts is super easy; however, very ineffective and it will backfire when a blanket pitch hits the inbox of a frustrated reporter. Take the time to review your list of reporters every time and make sure those people would be interested in what you have to say.
- Give Up on Writing – Writing is hard. Writing well is harder. It takes practice and patience to create an interesting story. Keep practicing.
- Dismiss Old School Tactics – Instagram. Twitter. Facebook. Google Plus. Blog. Email. NAPS. One of these is not like the others. We have numerous channels to share our message. While some may be favored for being flashy or in line with millennial preferences in receiving news, some goals are better achieved by a face-to-face conversation or boots-on-the-ground campaigning. Be sure to stay open to all PR tactics when tackling an objective, not just those that are easy to complete with the click of a mouse.
What is on your list?